3D Printing Housings and Enclosures
Housings and enclosures for components such as medical devices, industrial apparatus and consumer electronic housings like key fobs, have integral manufacturing requirements. Most need to be void-free, strong, air or water-tight, and often highly cosmetic. Some require materials compatible with medical imaging, electro-static dissipation or electromagnetic shielding.
Mass production (or high quantities) of these parts often lend to tooling and injection molding, a tried and true manufacturing process that can translate to longer lead times. For certain markets like aerospace and medical equipment, there’s sometimes need for lower quantities or bridge to production solutions while waiting for tooling to begin.
To address these needs and help customer to get market faster and easier, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing offers Urethane Casting and 3D printing technologies.
These manufacturing processes can build parts with complex geometries and internal features due to the freedom of design possible with 3D printed parts and 3D printed master patterns for Urethane Casting. Snap fits, interlocking joints, threaded fasteners and living hinges can be easily integrated into enclosure connections for seamless fits.
These quick-turn technologies produce accurate enclosures with excellent strength to weight ratios and durability. With a huge library of ridgid and flexible materials, our process can produce highly cosmetic parts, with the added benefit of our expert finishing services for paint, EMI-RFI shielding and decaling.
First to Market with Cast Urethanes
Urethane Casting is great for low-mid production runs with injection molding quality. Large scale and smaller enclosures and housings can take advantage of the precision and consistency of Urethane Casting. Urethane Casting gives companies first-to-market advantage and first shots within 7-10 business days, allowing you to get your products in market long before hard-tooling for traditional injection molding can be completed.
We meet industry-specific applications and unique enclosure and housing needs with an array of materials, including UL 94-V0 and FAR 25.853 flame ratings, high temperature, clear and medical imaging materials. Additionally, during the casting process sheet materials like fiberglass, carbon fiber and Kevlar can be positioned into a mold before it is filled with material.
High Detail with Multi Jet Fusion
Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) offers opportunities for complex, non-cosmetic housings and enclosures faster and at less cost than other powder-based additive manufacturing. MJF produces highly detailed parts, ideal for embossed text, complex connections and other fine features that may contribute to perfect seam alignment.
Utilizing Nylon 12, MJF creates parts with near isotropic mechanical properties and excellent chemical resistance to oil, greases and hydrocarbons. Manufacturing cycle-time for Multi Jet Fusion is driven by the height of the particular batch of parts being printed. Nesting small enclosures together in a single batch is the way to reduce costs and turn-around times. MJF allows for higher quantities of parts before the breakeven point with IM.
EMD Millipore Used 3D printing & Cast Urethanes to Bridge to Production
Stratasys Direct manufactured the Millipore Muse™ Cell Analyzer for EMD Millipore Corporation after creating prototypes with Stereolithography. The Muse assesses cell health parameters and immune status among other abilities in minutes from a single desktop medical device.
EMD Millipore wanted to manufacture The Muse in time for their product launch, but needed to wait for their injection molding and tooling to begin. Utilizing Stereolithography master patterns with textured surfaces, Stratasys Direct cast the device housings in the specified color, assembled the component and delivered the parts to Millipore before initial tooling began.
For EMD Millipore, the urethane parts were invaluable during initial product launch. The advanced formula polymers accurately simulated injection molded plastics in feel and function, and the cast urethanes gave Millipore early market and research information which helped steer final production.
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