This week's Product Story showcases nVent and how they utilize Stratasys 3D printing to create a custom solution to an intricate problem.
An electrical solutions company, nVent, specializes in solving unique problems across different industries and faces multiple challenges with needing custom parts created based on each project. Just like any other company that services a wide variety of industries, they face manufacturing constraints with creating specific parts for each client. Machined components are the traditional way of acquiring these parts and can be costly and can take weeks to produce. Let's dive in to how they utilize Stratasys 3D printers to build the part on demand.
Being tasked with leak testing a water distribution manifold within a new test chamber was something that would require a custom part. This chamber is long and narrow with the manifold needing to be inserted through a small chamber without damaging it. To add to the challenge, it needed support to center it within the chamber and exhibit low sliding friction to reduce force needed to insert and remove the manifold.
This left a couple of options for solutions to achieve this goal. One option is to fabricate a support system from machined metal which would have long lead times, wasted material and metal-on-metal sliding friction between the tool and the chamber. Another option is to 3D print a single part support on a Stratasys F370 with Diran 410MF07 material that would reduce lead time, decrease material costs and lower the tool-to-chamber surface friction.
Diran 410MF07 thermoplastic is a production-grade tooling material with a slippery surface finish. It is an FDM nylon-based filament that is ideal for manufacturing tooling applications with its high level of impact strength and resistance to hydrocarbon-based chemicals. This material is exclusive to the Stratasys F370 and is typically utilized by the aerospace, automotive, medical and electronic applications.
Utilizing 3D printing and the Diran material gave nVent the ability to produce an effective support tool within 22 hours. This impressive turnaround doesn't compare to the three week lead time for traditional machined components with a cost of $1,000 for material and labor. FDM additive manufacturing was the best solution to save them 56% in material costs and a reduced turnaround time of 90%.
Check out the full product story to get even more details on how nVent was able to utilize 3D printing on this project.