The initial part design had support materials, which had to be removed. “That required more labor and resulted in scrap of the same material that you are using to build the final part,” explained Monahan. In consultation with Carbon, the honeycomb structure was rotated 45 degrees, which made the walls self-supporting and allowed BD to print the part horizontally. “Scrap was reduced by 7%,” said Monahan. Carbon also modified the print script, which reduced print time by more than half.
|Rotating the honeycomb structure by 45 degrees made the walls of the part self-supporting and reduced print time. Image courtesy Carbon.|
This project—BD’s first foray into using additive manufacturing to make a production part—“opened a lot of eyes to the possibilities of this technology,” said Monahan. “Other parts are in production now, and several more are being talked about. When we’re looking at low-volume parts, I have executives now asking, ‘Why can’t we 3D print this?’ That’s a pretty remarkable shift in thinking for one of the largest injection molding companies in the world,” enthused Monahan.