“From Idea to Shops in 8 Months”: Breaking Records with 3D Printing

Almost every manufacturing segment you can imagine is embracing additive manufacturing these days.  Aerospace, medical devices, consumer products, and many others use the technology because it can be a fast, inexpensive way to produce prototypes, tooling, and even production pieces.

With the recent announcement that PTC and Stratasys are now working together to make CAD and printing solutions work more seamlessly together, we hope more product developers will explore 3D printing and its benefits.

That said, many companies haven’t waited for us to make the process easier for them. They’ve been designing with PTC Creo and sending files out to the printer for years.  Here are their stories:

Geobra Brandstatter produces legions of little plastic people

Germany’s largest toy company, Geobra Brandstatter (maker of Playmobil) produces a colorful family of interchangeable, clip-grip, helmet-haired toy figures, with more than 2.7 billion little plastic people made since 1974. Each year, the company introduces innovative new products. What’s it secret? Designers try out new innovations and design alternatives using PTC Creo and 3D printing. With this powerful combination, they’re developing more design alternatives earlier and faster than ever.

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Playmobil figures

C. Ideas scans and prints hard-to-find automotive replacement parts

C.ideas is a rapid prototyping company that uses 3D scanning and printing technologies to create and manufacture replacement parts for rare vehicles. The company recently produced more than 40 components for a Lotus 340R, a concept car of which only 340 were made in 1998.

Assemblies for the Lotus included original fiberglass parts that were replaced with ABS parts to provide greater flexibility and resist cracking. For parts that needed modifications, scans were exported to PTC Creo software and sent out for additional design work. Read the rest of the story

PTC Creo allowed designers at C.ideas to add a cold air intake and vents to the original trunk design

Innovative multi-tools from Wagic pack a toolbox into the palm of your hand

WAGIC makes the RE:SOLVE line of multi-tools. These hand-held innovations fit a toolbox of implements into a device you can store in your jeans. The tools go beyond all-things-to-all people pocket knives; the RE:SOLVE line has a multi-tool for painters, one for home decorators, and one for the outdoors enthusiast. To quickly develop and prototype ideas, the company uses PTC Creo and a 3D printer. Read the rest of the story

Unmanned aerial vehicles from Sentera monitor health of farm fields.

Sentera’s products aren’t produced in large numbers, so it’s often not cost effective to use traditional manufacturing methods to fabricate them. “We’re in this ‘in between’ quantity,” says Todd Colten, lead aerospace engineer. “We’ll need to make 100 pieces at a time, not enough to use injection molding. The biggest challenge for my team is going from design to manufacturing, making design changes, and rolling those into manufacturing.”

The team addresses this by designing products that can be manufactured in minutes with 3D printing. The team sends the 3D models as STL files directly to the companies that can print them, and the small-run parts are back in just a day or two. Read the rest of the story

Is your company already using 3D printing with PTC Creo? Drop us a comment below and tell us how it’s going….