Production 3D Printing in the Product Development Life Cycle

After careful planning and design validation, it’s time to start delivering products to market. In industries like aerospace, medical, transportation and consumer products, additive manufacturing has increasingly become a production solution for top companies. At this stage in the product development life cycle, companies will have already done their research and testing and know which manufacturing process and materials are ideal for production. 

At Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, we offer additive manufacturing technologies for lower volumes, custom products and parts, urethane casting for mid to high volumes of parts and injection molding for higher volumes. Other than volumes, a manufacturing technology should be chosen to suit a part’s application and mechanical requirements. 


production 3d printing

As a comprehensive solutions provider, we offer finishing and assembly services to perfect parts post-build and give final products the necessary cosmetics.

Additive Manufacturing 

Companies can produce amazing, consistent parts with a range of additive manufacturing technologies tailored to their application. Ideal for low-volume, bridge to production runs, spare parts 3D printing offers freedom from traditional design constraints. 3D printing provides faster turnarounds than conventional manufacturing methods, allowing you to get your product to market quickly. 

With expansive 3D printing services that utilize engineering-grade thermoplastics and metals, Stratasys Direct helps push the limits of additive manufacturing with well-researched, carefully development methods that ensure faster lead times, reduced costs and a more efficient supply chain. 

At Stratasys Direct we offer a range of thermoplastics utilized with two 3D printing technologies: FDM and Laser Sintering. Production-grade thermoplastics build tough, durable parts that are accurate, repeatable and stable over time. You can 3D print production parts in familiar materials like nylons, ABS, PC and high-performance ULTEM 1010 and ULTEM 9085. 

3D printing metals allows you to produce complex geometries in one fluid build. Dense, corrosive resistant and high strength, we’ve validated and developed metal materials, like Copper and MONEL K500®, for specific applications to create metal parts never seen before. Metals and alloys used in DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) are atomized powders, some specifically formulated for applications that need special properties like biocompatibility and compatibility with liquid oxygen.

cnc machining

 

Conventional Manufacturing

For mid-high volume production, we have robust conventional manufacturing processes like CNC Machining, Injection Molding and Urethane Casting. These manufacturing methods are reliable, but can be costly and include long lead times if not assigned appropriately. 

With Urethane Casting, get the first-to-market advantage with quick-turn, 3D printed master patterns and fast curing silicone molds. Stratasys Direct developed a proprietary approach to master pattern production that is guaranteed to deliver consistency and quality in your cast components. Urethane casting can deliver first shots within 7-10 business days, allowing you to get your product on shelves long before hard-tooling for traditional injection molding could be completed. 

CNC Machining is a subtractive manufacturing method that uses cutting tools to remove material from a block of raw material or a pre-existing part. Stratasys Direct’s large capacity helps deliver CNC machined parts at unrivaled speed, and our experienced engineers ensure the highest standards with cutting edge software and equipment. 

Injection molding is the most commonly used method for producing higher volumes of plastic parts. Depending on your project requirements, our injection molding can deliver parts in as little as ten days. Companies can work directly with an experienced injection molding team, dedicated to delivering quality parts, on-time. 

 

Finishing & Assembly

Just as important to production as the build method is post-processing, finishing and assembly. Great finishing is what makes a part ready for the marketplace and attracts customers to your product. 
Your vision does not have to be limited by the build envelope of a particular technology. Our expert assemblers have the precise methods curated over decades for the perfect assembly. We’ve manufactured large components, from airplane landing gears to mockups of semi-trailer doors.

To prep and smooth the exterior and interior of parts, we offer hand sanding, sealing, media blasting, tumbling, machining to tolerances and micro-welded inserts. Part appearance can be improved with vapor polishing, paint, mold-tech finishes, decals, texturizing, primer, rubberized paint, electroplating, artwork and dying.

3d printing finishing

 

Manufacturing Aids

Companies can maintain high-quality production and efficiency with complex and custom manufacturing aids like jigs, fixtures, templates and gauges. 3D printed jigs and fixtures open up new possibilities on manufacturing-floor productivity. 3D printing processes are easy to implement and offer a wide variety of materials to support a part’s requirements, while eliminating cost, lead time and design barriers to adopting manufacturing aids on the shop floor. 

From low volumes with 3D printing to large production runs with Injection Molding, we’re ready to get your product on the shelf, fast. Our comprehensive solutions include expert finishing and assembly options to perfect parts post-build. From aerospace to medical, we can meet your production needs with a full suite of solutions and a team of experts. 

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