An Italian 3D printing service bureau has added to its stable of fused deposition molding equipment through purchase of its seventh such unit from Stratasys Ltd. (Minneapolis, MN). Società Progettazione Ingegnerizzazione SRL (Spring SRL, Monteviale) finalized the purchase at the recent EuroMold 2013 show through Italian reseller, Technimold.
|Aircraft armrests made via additive manufacturing from PEI.|
"FDM technology has always been a core part of our service offering to customers as it allows us to produce tough parts that can endure the stress of functional testing," explains Fabio Gualdo, co-founder and CEO of Spring SRL. "We purchased the Fortus 900mc to directly manufacture parts that would be impossible to produce with traditional technology and material, such as carbon fiber. Our customers across various industries have been amazed at the quality, speed and performance of 3D printed end-use parts and this was a key part of our decision to invest further in Stratasys' Fortus Production Systems."
Spring SRL offers the full range of Stratasys FDM materials, including ABS M30i and PC-ISO for medical modeling. At present, the company's activities comprise 70% direct digital manufacturing (DDM) and 30% prototype parts for functional testing in a number of industries including motorsports (20%), aerospace (18%) and medical (11%). The company's prototyping and production 3D printers are working round the clock, totaling 42,000 hours per year.
"As in so many industries today, deadlines are becoming shorter and shorter," says Gualdo. "3D printing, combined with our know-how and design skills, has helped us reduce our lead time significantly as we can make several design iterations to a product quicker than we ever could with traditional manufacturing process. We have also been able to save our customers money as no tooling is required and this has strengthened our reputation as the leading Italian service bureau."
For the aerospace and racing industries, Spring SRL uses Stratasys FDM 3D printing technology to produce a number of parts including 3D printed, end-use armrests featured in a number of airplanes and vehicles.
"When approached to produce the armrests, we instantly knew that the ULTEM 9085 [amorphous thermoplastic polyetherimide (PEI)] material from Stratasys, with its high strength-to-weight ratio, would be the ideal material for this project," says Gualdo. "The high performance material enabled us to reduce the weight of traditional armrests by 60%, a crucial factor in the aerospace industry."