South-Korea (한국어)
South-Korea (한국어)
Stratasys FDM additive manufacturing has benefited the Elkamet production floor, shortening lead times of tools, such as gauges, by up to 75%.
Case Study

Elkamet은 3D 프린팅을 도입하여 설계 및 생산 현장 효율성을 극대화합니다.

January 26, 2022

3D printing enables Elkamet to meet customers requests for quicker deliver and shorter lead times.

Quality is one of the core pillars driving the success at Elkamet Kunststofftechnik GmbH, a German plastic part manufacturer with a heritage dating back to 1955. The family-owned business has globalized its manufacturing efforts and produces extruded profiles for vehicle and lighting industries, impact-resistant plastic parts for outdoor lighting and much more. Servicing various industries with many different parts, the company faces the constant challenge of producing high-quality parts in as little time as possible. To uphold its quality reputation, Elkamet invested in 3D printers to speed-up in-house design and production processes.

Our customers are continuously asking for quicker delivery and shorter lead times, and now that we have seen what 3D printing technology is capable of, we hope to expand our services with the technology in the future.

Seeing the light with J750 prototypes.

Beyond jigs and fixtures, Elkamet also benefits from 3D printing across its prototyping processes. When manufacturing lighting profiles, such as covers for office lights, design iterations were often difficult because the parts are extruded and usually produced in series. Design iterations would typically only take place in the second series created, since producing one-off lighting covers to test designs is not viable. To overcome these challenges, Elkamet employed the full-color, multi-material Stratasys J750™ 3D Printer.

 

“For our lighting profile covers, prototyping was previously very difficult, as we require transparent material and the ability to easily produce one-off parts,” Sturma said. “Furthermore, the combination of hard and soft materials and a wide color palette is needed for prototypes created in-house. The Stratasys J750 is the best solution in the market fulfilling that criteria.”

 

The final transparent lighting prototypes 3D printed in VeroClear™ material have received very positive feedback from the Elkamet team, according to Sturma. “The prototypes we achieved have a great lens effect – we didn’t anticipate such exceptional quality,” said Sturma.

Besides a reduction in weight, which makes quality and measurement aspects much easier, the 3D printing process has shortened lead times for tools like the gauge by up to 75%. The ability to produce 3D printed customized gauges lets Elkamet efficiently respond to automotive market demands, improve internal manufacturing processes and provide faster, more tailored solutions for customers. 3D printing also allowed the company to easily change the gauge from white to gray, which avoids reflection and ensures better contrast for the Elkamet team.

 

“The Fortus 3D Printer runs non-stop on our production floor and was adopted enthusiastically by our team from the moment of installation,” said Sturma. “The safe and easy-to-use system has made tooling in-house much easier, especially because we can use a range of materials with it. The mechanical and thermal properties of those materials are also ideal for the production of jigs and fixtures, which are used today across our manufacturing floor.”

Stratasys FDM additive manufacturing has benefited the Elkamet production floor, shortening lead times of tools, such as gauges, by up to 75%.
Stratasys FDM additive manufacturing has benefited the Elkamet production floor, shortening lead times of tools, such as gauges, by up to 75%.
The Stratasys J750 3D Printer lets Elkamet produce one-off, transparent lighting prototypes ahead of larger production runs.
The Stratasys J750 3D Printer lets Elkamet produce one-off, transparent lighting prototypes ahead of larger production runs.

Seeing the light with J750 prototypes.

Beyond jigs and fixtures, Elkamet also benefits from 3D printing across its prototyping processes. When manufacturing lighting profiles, such as covers for office lights, design iterations were often difficult because the parts are extruded and usually produced in series. Design iterations would typically only take place in the second series created, since producing one-off lighting covers to test designs is not viable. To overcome these challenges, Elkamet employed the full-color, multi-material Stratasys J750™ 3D Printer.

 

“For our lighting profile covers, prototyping was previously very difficult, as we require transparent material and the ability to easily produce one-off parts,” Sturma said. “Furthermore, the combination of hard and soft materials and a wide color palette is needed for prototypes created in-house. The Stratasys J750 is the best solution in the market fulfilling that criteria.”

 

The final transparent lighting prototypes 3D printed in VeroClear™ material have received very positive feedback from the Elkamet team, according to Sturma. “The prototypes we achieved have a great lens effect – we didn’t anticipate such exceptional quality,” said Sturma.

The safe and easy-to-use system has made tooling in-house much easier, especially because we can use a range of materials with it.

The ability to manipulate material rigidity also allows the Elkamet design team to closely replicate the final material properties of the lighting covers. Time and money are saved at the design and production stages by being able to 3D print one-off lighting prototypes and agree on the final design prior to production.

 

With its in-house Fortus and J750 printers, Elkamet has invested not only in its current processes but also in the future of the business. “We are keen to further explore these technologies and their capabilities for other applications and processes,” Sturma said. “Our customers are continuously asking for quicker delivery and shorter lead times, and now that we have seen what 3D printing technology is capable of, we hope to expand our services with the technology in the future.”

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