ControlTek customers are enjoying improved quality and more efficient production following the recent addition of a new Stratasys U-Print SE Plus 3D printer at the contract manufacturer's facility in Vancouver, Washington. The purchase follows months of internal research and testing by ControlTek's manufacturing engineering team to select a 3D solution that offers the best fit and maximum benefit for ControlTek customers.
The U-Print SE Plus 3D printer is used by ControlTek's manufacturing engineering team primarily to create tools and test fixtures in-house, reducing the time needed for projects that previously required expensive outsourcing. In addition, the printer will be used to prototype mechanical parts to assist during engineering and design of new products.
By moving these capabilities in-house, ControlTek is able to provide better quality, reliable 3D parts and fixtures at a fraction of the time necessary to complete.
"The new printer allows us to reduce production times for certain projects by providing a higher quality tool or fixture. This creates efficiencies in the production process that we can pass on to our customers," says Manufacturing Engineer Adrian Dobrian.
FDM printing was selected based on the technology's excellent tolerance and speed in comparison to other 3D technologies. Tools and fixtures which used to take days or even weeks to create can now be completed in just a few hours at the ControlTek facility.
"We've been really pleased with the printer's performance," says Dobrian. "We can create parts one day and have them in use the next."
ControlTek's in-house design engineering resources include an expert team of engineers to assist customers as they prepare for manufacturing and provide suggestions for reducing manufacturing costs and address other potential challenges. In addition to tools and fixtures, the new printer will be used by the engineering team for design prototyping.
As just one such example using the 3D printer, ControlTek staff can verify a product meets production requirements before custom injection molding begins, avoiding costly retooling fees and allowing for design adjustments earlier in development.
Stratasys was chosen as the 3D printer of choice for the new investment based on the company's excellent customer service and support for all of their 3D printing products.
ControlTek's 3D printing capabilities are now available for all ControlTek customers