Automated Production Cell with NXE 400Pro Scales On-Demand Production of Custom Components Quickly and Affordably
MaxResolution3D is filling the gap in an important sector of 3D printing – the space between prototyping and full-scale production via injection molding– projects that need volumes up to ten thousand parts. But in order to consistently deliver that amount of 3D printed parts, additive manufacturing service bureaus usually require suites of 3D printers and a huge labor force to keep up with the demand. MaxResolution3D has solved this riddle for the European market with their automated production cell of Nexa3D printers engineered by Nexa3D’s channel partner in Germany – Production To Go.
Founded in 2021, MaxResolution3D set out to make series production via 3D printing more accessible. Providing businesses the possibility to produce polymer parts locally in the center of Europe, MaxResolution3D utilizes an automated production cell that can deliver 3D printed parts at high quantities with minimal labor required.
FormFoundation, a trade-fair construction and shop-fitting partner, came to MaxResolution3D with a perfect use-case for their automated production cell. The service provider consults, plans and creates spaces that function and inspire for trade show floors with creative engineering and custom solutions. The two companies came together to brainstorm a solution to a common problem with booth design and found a perfect use-case for rapid 3D printing production.
Identify affordable, on-demand solution for custom light fixturing
FormFoundation mentioned a recurring issue with certain trade fair construction – the spotlights that hang above their booth designs have holders that tend to overhang the billboards or walls of the booths and create unseemly shadows. Previously, employees had to climb up ladders and cut around these overhangs, a tedious and time-consuming task during every installation.
Their initial search for a solution led them to a metals manufacturing company, however that requires production of 32,000 parts to obtain a reasonable price per part. Furthermore, every trade show exhibit is customized. Needing a custom piece in the 500-1000 parts range, FormFoundation discussed their challenge with MaxResolution3D. The part had to be small – no bigger than five centimeters and mechanically strong enough to hold up the large spotlight lamps that were causing the issue. They also wanted the parts for a tradeshow booth they would be installing in just a few days.
Use additive automation cell with NXE 400Pro to scale production
When starting their manufacturing business in 2021, MaxResolution3D’s hardest challenge was finding 3D printing technology at a good price that could deliver the best quality at rapid production times. They needed consistent, reliable production across large volumes of parts. And to meet the time and cost constraints of higher-volume production, this solution needed to be as low-touch as possible.
MaxResolution3D chose NXE 400Pro 3D printers, an industrial resin 3D printing solution with a 17L build volume and production speeds up to 6.5x faster than other 3D printers from the same class. This printer operated as a part of a production cell utilizing a robotic arm that serves three printers at a time, transferring build plates with completed parts to an automated washing station and then to a storage rack. From there the only labor required would be transferring the completed builds to the xCURE for final curing.
So when FormFoundation came to MaxResolution3D, they were well equipped for a quick-turn project like this. MaxResolution3D went right to design, testing two iterations before beginning series production on the final part. The idea was to develop a thin, four centimeter wide part made from x45-Black, a strong and cost-effective enough resin material that could handle the weight of the spotlights.
500 custom parts produced in just 5 days
Utilizing the NXE 400Pro printers and automation cell, MaxResolution3D has raised their production reliability to more than 97% on 7,000 parts.
Dario Dill, Co-Founder of MaxResolution3D said, “Because of Nexa3D’s high printing speeds without quality losses and the usage of a lot of material, we can offer the best prices for our customers. The functional platform gives opportunities to make the printing jobs more reliable as we can individualize the production process a lot via the technology set up.”
This reliability and speed helped MaxResolution3D design, print and deliver 500 parts to FormFoundation in just 5 days. After iterating and updating the design, it was uploaded into the automated production cell Tuesday, and the finished parts were delivered to the trade show on Thursday.
“I don’t think there is another technology that delivers this amount of parts at this speed,” said Michael Wagner, CEO of FormFoundation.
Following this project, both FormFoundation and MaxResolution3D agree that this kind of innovative manufacturing is empowering even at the design stage.
“When you’re faced with a problem, think out of the box. 3D printing is possible for series production,” said Wagner. “By embracing it as an option, you get so much flexibility in your product development; when you face problems, you have an accessible solution.”