However, when it comes to producing volumes of up to several thousand parts, Goetz has been reliant upon traditional manufacturing methods like injection molding. While part quality is great, this has come at a cost to the business with mold production extremely costly and time-intensive.
“When it comes to the manufacture of molds, the process can easily cost between 5,000-10,000 euros for each one, with lengthy lead times of 4-12 weeks. To make the investment financially viable, we need to produce a large batch of at least 50,000 parts,” explains Goetz’s owner, Philipp Goetz.
To overcome these challenges, the company sought a technology that would enable small to medium series production at a competitive price per part – and within short turnaround times. By doing so, Goetz knew that it would be able to continue to meet existing customer requirements more efficiently, while also strengthening its ability to expand its service offering to secure new business.
According to Goetz, the company first tested several sintering technologies, however it was not convinced by the constant danger of warping and inconsistencies across production parts. As a result, the company turned to Stratasys’ new H350™ 3D printer. Part of the H Series™ Production Platform of powder bed fusion-based 3D printers, the H350 has been conceived and engineered for production-level throughput of end-use parts.
Using Selective Absorption Fusion™, SAF™, technology, the H350 provides the accuracy, repeatability and process control essential for consistent production and competitive part costs. The technology uses an infrared-sensitive HAF™ High Absorbing Fluid to fuse particles of polymer powder together in layers to build parts. Accessing Big Wave™ powder management for powder distribution and industrial-grade Piezo-electric print heads, the fluid is jetted in prescribed areas to create each layer of the part. Exposure to infrared energy then causes the areas with HAF to melt and fuse together.