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Europlaz adds 3D printing to its engineering capabilities

28.08.19

Europlaz has successfully arranged to purchase and install a Formlabs Form 2 3D printer. As a medical device manufacturer with the capability to take products from concept to completion, this will prove to be a great asset for the engineering team, allowing significantly faster creation and testing of prototype designs and streamlining the entire development process.

 

 

 

Once a customer’s concept is in design, it can be time-consuming to see it through to commercial or trial manufacturing. A 3D printer vastly speeds this up and will allow engineers to more efficiently carry out their iterative design cycle.

This iterative design cycle is as follows:

Firstly, an initial design is put forward, and a prototype is decided upon.

Then, the prototype is built via silicon moulding or 3D printing, at which point it can be tested and reviewed for functionality and a high standard of quality.

The results of this review allow engineers to assess their design for possible improvements and subsequently implement them.

Now the cycle may begin anew, with the newest iteration of the design having eliminated potential drawbacks of the original.

Currently, Europlaz creates both products and prototype designs via silicon and injection moulding, boasting extensive facilities and a valuable expertise on the process. However, when it comes to prototype creation, this can be time-consuming and costly. The benefits of using the newly purchased 3D printer will come in the form of efficiency and cost-effectiveness and will be felt by customers whose products are in development.

Formlabs 3D printers use a method known as Stereolithography to create 3D-printed objects. This works by taking CAD (Computer-Aided Design) instructions and translating them into a product, by laying a thin layer of liquid plastic which is then cured by a UV laser, hardening and allowing for the next layer to be constructed. This is repeated until a finished 3D product has been created.

Used in a multitude of industries, 3D printers have many applications: creating designs for jewellery, dental moulds, custom hearing and audiology products, amongst various other examples. The medical device industry is no exception, and the use of these printers have far-reaching implications. The range of possibilities with this technology is broad and will prove beneficial for Europlaz engineers when developing novel medical technologies.