South-Korea (한국어)
South-Korea (한국어)
Solidify 3D printed a master part to create these silicon rubber molds for their automotive client
Case Study

3D 프린팅은 설계 및 제조 분야에 신속한 비용 절감 솔루션을 제공합니다.

January 26, 2022

Solidify utilizes 3D printing to create tools and jigs for manufacturing in the automotive industry.

Real solution.

“The tool we developed combines the two existing tools into a single unit,” says design engineer Richard Franks. “As the surgeon squeezes two handle pieces together, the ratchet tightens the screws.” The engineers produced a working polycarbonate ratchet strong enough to withstand testing on stainless steel set-screws and durable enough to survive an autoclave. In addition, says senior engineering manager Troy McDonald, “Surgeons are really rough on these prototypes while trying them out, so we have got to have tough material. FDM gave us the strength and durability we needed.”

For us, the most important thing is minimizing turnaround time. It is critical to our business success and 3D printing has proved its capability on this front.

Leveraging Speed and Strength

The adoption of 3D printing allowed Solidify to provide solutions for low- volume production quickly. For example, Solidify was producing spare parts for a European automotive client whose car had gone out of production, but still required spare part supplies for a few more years. The client’s actual demand was 1,000 pieces, but the minimum order required by the original supplier was 20 times more. Instead, Solidify 3D printed the master part and added it to traditional manufacturing processes, including soft tooling, silicon rubber molding and plastic injection molding. After 3D printing the master part, silicon rubber molds were created for the first 200 pieces and the order was completed using injection molding.


This integrated approach cost four times less than that of the original supplier. Apart from providing solutions for automotive spare parts, Solidify leveraged 3D printing and their Fortus® system to great success by manufacturing chassis parts for up to 10 double-decker buses a week. The printed parts of the bus chassis were produced using FDM Nylon 12TM, a strong material especially suitable for the automotive industry as it offers one of the best Z-axis lamination and highest impact strength among any FDM thermoplastics. The printed parts can withstand vigorous functional tests and will not break when they are assembled into the real chassis. “The Fortus system offers a larger build tray for us, which helps us minimize assembly, and the associated error and cost, thus improving production efficiency and boosting customer satisfaction,” said Khoo.

Solidify 3D printed a master part to create these silicon rubber molds for their automotive client.
Solidify leverages 3D printing to make tools and jigs to
manufacture parts for the automotive industry.

Need for Speed, Need for Quality

Quick turnarounds have become a critical feature for business success. For example, it would normally take a week to produce a jig using traditional CNC processes, while it only takes one to two days to produce with 3D printing at a lower cost. Recently, Solidify also took on a Navy project that required the delivery of 20 customized, metal power adapter blocks within two weeks. Solidify 3D printed the master part and sent it out for sand casting. Compared to traditional methods that would require a week’s time to produce the master part, 3D printing helped the service bureau live up to the customer’s expectations with speedy part completion. Solidify is looking to expand its client base and use the power of 3D printing to help clients save time and money. Solidify is also considering adding more 3D printers, including Stratasys PolyJetTM systems, to make tools or punches for dies and press breaks. “For us, the most important thing is minimizing the turnaround time. It is critical for our business success and 3D printing has proved its capability on this front,” Khoo said.

고객사례 다운로드