Whale, a leading manufacturer of water and heating systems for mobile applications, has recorded significant savings and has managed to shorten design process and product launch lead time by 20% by introducing Stratasys 3D printing into its tooling process.
“Traditionally, our lead times for metal tools were somewhere between four to five weeks and came with significant production costs. As a result, our R&D process was very time-consuming and fundamentally slowed down the launch of new products. With our Objet Connex 3D Printer, we are now able to design our tools during the day, 3D print them overnight and test them the next morning with a range of end-product materials. The time and cost savings associated with this new tooling method are significant,” said Jim Sargent, 3D Technical Services at Whale.
The company uses Stratasys’ Digital ABS material for 3D printing and has slashed its lead times for the production of injection mould tools for prototype parts by up to 97%.
“Looking into the future, 3D printing is hugely revolutionary in terms of how we are going to operate as a business. We have already seen the technology take months off of our product development process and that in turn minimises risk. In fact, I estimate that we’ve shortened our R&D process by up to 35% with Stratasys 3D printing solutions. Add that on top of the 20% we’re already saving in terms of our design work — well for me, it’s fantastic,” said Patrick Hurst, Managing Director at Whale.
“We are seeing an increasing number of customers exploring the potential that 3D printed injection mould tools offer. In addition to the dramatic cost and time savings potential, our Digital ABS tools enable companies to produce parts in the real end-product material, ready to test even in the prototyping phase. Our customers can therefore make quicker test iterations and bring products to market faster,” said Nadav Sella, Solutions Sales Manager at Stratasys.