By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
If it’s about cars, I’m into it — design, analysis, rapid prototyping, and so on. This is probably because all I’ve ever owned is little old lady cars — with the exception of a ’68 Plymouth Fury and a ’91 Ford F-150 with a wooden box featuring fold-down sides for its short bed — leaving me to suffer from unfulfilled car fantasies.
Anyway, today’s Check It Out read, you’ve no doubt surmised, is about cars. Specifically, it’s about how Swedish hot-car manufacturer Koenigsegg Automotive decided that it would be less expensive and more efficient if they had their own Stratasys Dimension SST 1200es 3D printing system rather than always outsourcing their rapid prototyping needs. It worked: car design development sped up by maybe 20% and money was saved. All the engineers use the Dimension, and they’re able to make changes freely, and in days rather than weeks.
Good enough read right there. But a brief paragraph or two is what caught my attention: Engineers being engineers began using their rapid prototyping for direct manufacturing. The article doesn’t say it flat out, but my guess is that the engineers soon realized that the thermoplastic modeling material the Dimension SST 1200es uses — it’s called ABSplus — is durable enough to handle many production parts. Or as the article puts it “the printer can be used by Koenigsegg for everything from printing engine parts to interior fixtures.”
Rapid prototyping and direct manufacturing out of the same unit is good stuff.
So, hit the link over there and spend all of two minutes with this article. It could give you some ideas for your job. After all, maybe you’re spending too much money on outsourcing prototypes or maybe you’re just spending too much time waiting for a part to show up and the CFO is asking a lot of dumb questions about it. Or worse, you’re not tinkering with enough alternatives. And to answer the question I hear you asking yourself on behalf of the CFO, Stratasys lists the Dimension SST 1200es as starting at $24,900, taxes, options, and what have you not included, naturally. That’s a baseline to keep in mind as you read today’s Check It Out.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering