3D PRINTING HELPS GERMAN MANUFACTURER SEUFFER CUT TOOLING COSTS FOR PROTOTYPE PARTS BY 97%, LEAD TIME BY 98%

Seuffer uses Stratasys 3D printed injection molds to produce parts for  functional testing in their final material

Robert Seuffer, GmbH & Co. KG (Seuffer), a German supplier of parts for household appliances  and commercial vehicles, has incorporated Stratasys 3D printing in its manufacturing process to significantly reduce the time and cost of producing injection molded sample parts.

The injection molding process is used by manufacturers all over the world to produce parts in a variety of materials, most commonly thermoplastics. Prototype parts are required to evaluate the part design for performance and fit before mass production. The ability to dramatically streamline the tool creation process for producing these prototype parts is another concrete example of how Stratasys 3D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing.

“Working with the automotive industry, sample parts need to be tested in the environment of moving mechanical parts as well as in high temperature environments,” explained Andreas Buchholz, Head of Research and Development at Seuffer. “With Stratasys 3D printing, we can design first drafts of the injection mold within a few days and 3D print them in less than 24 hours for part evaluation. Traditionally, it would take eight weeks to manufacture the tool in metal using the conventional CNC process.  And while the conventional tool costs us about 40,000 euros, the 3D printed tool is less than 1000 euros, a saving of 97%.”

Using Stratasys 3D printing technology, Seuffer also produces 3D printed molds for its hot melt process. These molds, which are used to overmold low melting point polyamide over electronic circuit boards, are created with Stratasys’ rigid, opaque Vero materials.

“Companies worldwide are looking to introduce significant efficiencies to their manufacturing processes when introducing new products, and are discovering the many benefits of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing,”  said  Andy Middleton, General Manager, Stratasys EMEA at Stratasys. “More and more manufacturers are adopting 3D printed tools as a complimentary injection molding solution – not only to cost-effectively test products before mass production, but also to produce customized parts.”

Watch this video to learn how Seuffer's move to 3D printing is revolutionizing their injection molding process.

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Stratasys additive manufacturing compared to CNC tooling: 3D printed injection mold and resulting part next to steel tool of identical design

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Stratasys 3D printed injection mold

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Stratasys 3D printed sample part produced from 3D printed injection mold

Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and Rehovot, Israel, manufactures 3D printers and materials for prototyping and production. The company’s patented FDM® and PolyJet® processes produce prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files or other 3D content. Systems include 3D printers for idea development, prototyping and direct digital manufacturing. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape and the company operates the RedEye On Demand digital-manufacturing service. Stratasys has more than 1500 employees, holds over 500 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally, and has received more than 20 awards for its technology and leadership. Online at: www.stratasys.com or http://blog.stratasys.com