Who are the companies that realize batch manufacturing with 3D printing technology?
Guide: Additive manufacturing (3D printing technology) is now widely used in the production of end-use parts. According to market surveys, more than 50% of companies use 3D printing technology for the production of final parts rather than just for making models. prototype. But 3D printing is usually not the preferred method for mass production, because traditional means are more cost-competitive in mass production. So why are more and more manufacturers considering additive manufacturing (3D printing technology) for series production? How can 3D printing manufacture the same standardized products at industrial-grade volumes? Which companies are already using 3D printing technology to achieve mass production? If you want to know more, look down!
Adidas and Carbon mass-produce sneaker soles
In April 2017, Adidas announced an important partnership with Carbon to jointly produce 100,000 pairs of Future Craft 4D sneakers with 3D printed soles. Using Carbon's digital light synthesis technology, Adidas was able to print the sole with a grid structure in 19 minutes. The 3D printed grid structure sole can reduce the overall weight of the shoe and provide better cushioning and stability, thus better responding to each athlete's movement
Adidas 3D printed shoes
The production speed of digital light synthesis technology is 100 times faster than that of light curing molding, which is an important prerequisite for realizing industrial mass production. However, the global limited edition of 3D printed running shoes in 2018 is only 100,000 pairs, mainly because despite the fast speed, the mass production capacity will take some time to build. In 2019, Adidas and Carbon's annual output of one million pairs has been achieved, and new products will be launched every season, and the prices will continue to be affordable.
According to a 2019 report by SmarTech Publishing, a foreign survey agency, 3D printing of footwear will reach a market size of US$6.3 billion in the next 10 years, and Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, New Balance and Reebok have become leaders in this field. In recent years, domestic brands such as Peak and Li Ning have also made efforts in this field; at the same time, there are also domestic companies that benchmark Carbon technology, such as Qingfeng Times and Sucheng Technology. Both companies are relatively leading in molding materials and printing technologies. . 3D printed transparent braces
Align Technology of the United States focuses on the use of 3D printed orthodontic solutions, especially known for the development of personalized invisible aligners. It uses the SLA printer of 3D Systems to make the corrector dental model of the patient at different stages of correction, and then uses this as a mold to make a transparent corrector through thermoplastic molding. At present, Invisalign has become a perfect example of combining personalization, mass production and 3D printing. It can produce more than 320,000 orthotics per day, and treats more than 9 million customers worldwide.3D printing invisible transparent braces
The design flexibility brought about by 3D printing helps reduce the risk in the manufacturing process. To avoid confusion, each aligner has a unique patient ID, which is added to the design of the aligner via a CAD file and fabricated directly through 3D printing. This unique identifier does not reveal any patient information, but allows manufacturing technicians to track and manage the production and shipment of each patient's aligners. GE Additive and Safran Fuel Nozzles
GE Additive has partnered with Safran to mass-produce engine fuel nozzles using additive manufacturing technology since 2015. With more than 40 3D printers, GE Auburn factory delivered 8,000 fuel nozzles in 2017; by the end of 2018, this figure had exceeded 33,000; and by 2019, the factory could produce 800 nozzles per week, which is in The current status of the additive manufacturing industry is already a fully industrialized mass manufacturing, and its output continues to grow. As of November last year, the number of new fuel nozzles produced exceeded 60,000.3D printed leap fuel nozzle
In this walnut-sized structure (the nozzle head), 14 delicate fluid channels are contained. The previous process required 20 parts to be welded together. 3D printing has realized the integrated manufacturing of the structure, thereby reducing the weight ratio of the nozzle by 25% and increasing the durability by 5 times. Based on this, GE has reduced the inventory of parts by 95% and reduced the manufacturing cost of components by 30%. For GE, this is one of the most well-known examples of 3D printing speeding up production, reducing costs and shortening lead times. Chanel: 3D printed mascara brush has exceeded 17 million
Compared with sneakers and engine nozzles, the application of eyelash brushes may seem insignificant, but when it comes to an important product of a company, its value is huge, not to mention that it is a female product.
The patent for 3D printing mascara brushes was first proposed by Chanel in 2007. After almost 10 years of research and development, it officially entered mass production. In 2017, Chanel's mascara brush production line had six 3D printers capable of producing 50,000 brushes per day, which is equivalent to printing 250,000 brushes per week, and a total of up to 1 million brushes per month. Up to now, the production line has 15 printers and can run 7*24 hours without stopping, and the number of 3D printed mascara brushes has reached 17 million.
3D printed mascara brush made using laser sintering process
PepsiCo mass-produces bottle molds with 3D printing technology
Chanel eyelash brush adopts laser sintering 3D printing process, and the material is nylon. According to the R&D team, when making models, 3D printing can enable designers to bypass the expensive and time-consuming traditional mold manufacturing process, and can also fine-tune more than 100 prototypes, which are extremely cost-effective and finalized. The structure of the mascara brush cannot be manufactured using conventional means. Following its first product, Volume Révolution, Chanel has decided to go a step further with the launch of EYE, a new collection of 3D printed mascara brushes that includes 10 dedicated brushes.Chanel 3D printed eyelash brush series products
Earlier we introduced PepsiCo’s use of 3D printing technology to mass-produce bottle molds, so we won’t say much here. If you are interested, you can go and see: PepsiCo uses 3D printing technology to mass-produce bottle molds to save about 90% of the cost
3D printing technology mass production bottle mold
3D printing epidemic prevention supplies
Although the epidemic situation in Europe and the United States has not improved, 3D printing has played a huge role in the fight against the epidemic. Many 3D printing companies have used our company's technology in the medical field. Carbon produces more than 1 million nasopharyngeal swabs and 18,000 protective masks per week; Formlabs uses more than 250 internal 3D printers to produce up to 150,000 test swabs per day, and Markforged's production scale has also expanded to 100,000 pieces. UK-based Photocentric uses light-curing technology to print respirator-compatible valves, with a production volume of 40,000 per week. These examples show that 3D printing can provide rapid response in emergency situations.Formlabs produces up to 150,000 test swabs per day
General: Some people say that mass production of 3D printing is a false proposition, and this technology is only suitable for making personalized products. However, from the above cases, it can be concluded that for specific products that can only be manufactured by 3D printing, mass manufacturing can be achieved; even personalized products, such as dental appliances, hip joints, etc., also have mass production. production scenarios.
The mass production of 3D printing is inseparable from equipment that can support the realization of this trend. Today, no matter metal or plastic, they are breaking the disadvantages of slow speed and high cost of 3D printing in terms of size, speed, or specific process. One of the purposes is to try to solve the problem of mass production of 3D printing. There will be more and more cases of batch manufacturing of this technology.