- Custom digital workflow incorporates 3D printing to produce eggshell casting -- resulting in 4X capacity increase, more than 2X productivity increase, reduced manual labor and costs
- Figure 4 Standalone enables functional prototyping and low volume production with ultra-fast print speeds up to 100mm/hr at six sigma repeatability
ROCK HILL, S.C., Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- 3D Systems (DDD), the originator of 3D printing, today announced ACS Custom, a UK-based digital production house for custom hearing protection, in-ear monitors and other communication devices, has transformed its manufacturing workflow by incorporating two Figure 4™ Standalone 3D printers. As a result of the enhanced workflow, ACS has realized a 4X increase in capacity and 2X increase in efficiency while reducing material consumption by 50% and labor cost by as much as 80% on one part.
"The Figure 4 Standalone, and the overall collaboration with 3D Systems, have totally exceeded our expectations," said Andy Shiach, managing director, ACS Custom. "By transforming our workflow with Figure 4, our company is being elevated to a whole new level. We have been able to dramatically increase production capacity and efficiency through our ability to nest multiple parts on the same build plate – producing more parts in the same amount of time. These results are amplified by the incomparable surface finish allowing us to deliver high quality product to our customers. The strength of the technology coupled with the expertise of 3D Systems' team has made a significant impact on our business."
ACS produces custom devices and in-ear audio monitors for musicians, and custom in-ear communication devices for the UK military. The company utilizes a 100% digital production workflow that includes 3D scanning a person's ear, importing that data into design software to design the end part, and 3D printing an eggshell mold which is then cleaned and filled with silicon. Once the silicon is set, the mold is broken away, and electronic components are added to complete the device.
The Figure 4 platform is well-suited to these types of custom production applications, delivering industry-leading throughput with print speeds of up to 100mm per hour, and six sigma repeatability. For ACS Custom, this results in a long-wear device which enables enhanced sound transmission and quality.
The Figure 4 platform also delivers new levels of productivity to ACS for prototyping new part designs. "Figure 4 is unbelievably fast. It enables us to prototype four to five iterations of a new product or part in an eight hour day – something our previous 3D printers could never get close to," said Shiach.
Figure 4 Standalone includes 3D Systems' 3D Sprint™, which delivers advanced software support for preparation, editing, printing, and management, while also eliminating the need for ownership of costly third party software. ACS has found 3D Sprint to bring tremendous value to their workflow, helping mitigate errors and improve efficiency.
"3D Sprint is an invaluable part of our workflow," explained Dan Bennett, technical director, ACS Custom. "It includes so many useful tools which help us prepare and optimize the CAD data, and manage the entire print process. 3D Sprint has been instrumental for us to increase efficiency and productivity, and ultimately reduce time-to-part."
"With the introduction of the Figure 4 platform this year, 3D Systems has partnered with customers in a variety of industries to dramatically transform their workflows and their businesses," said Phil Schultz, senior vice president, general manager, on demand and plastics, 3D Systems. "Our collaboration with ACS Custom presented a tremendous opportunity to incorporate eggshell molding in our long list of Figure 4 industrial applications and deliver final in-ear devices that are world-renowned. Figure 4 has helped ACS not only transform their manufacturing workflow, but also maintain their competitive advantage."
Certain statements made in this release that are not statements of historical or current facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different from historical results or from any future results or projections expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In many cases, forward looking statements can be identified by terms such as "believes," "belief," "expects," "may," "will," "estimates," "intends," "anticipates" or "plans" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based upon management's beliefs, assumptions and current expectations and may include comments as to the company's beliefs and expectations as to future events and trends affecting its business and are necessarily subject to uncertainties, many of which are outside the control of the company. The factors described under the headings "Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors" in the company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as other factors, could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected or predicted in forward-looking statements. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not, and should not be relied upon as a guarantee of future performance or results, nor will they necessarily prove to be accurate indications of the times at which such performance or results will be achieved. The forward-looking statements included are made only as the date of the statement. 3D Systems undertakes no obligation to update or review any forward-looking statements made by management or on its behalf, whether as a result of future developments, subsequent events or circumstances or otherwise.
About 3D Systems
3D Systems is the originator of 3D printing and an innovator of future 3D solutions. It has spent its 30-year history enabling professionals and companies to optimize their designs, transform their workflows, bring groundbreaking products to market and drive new business models. This is achieved with the Company's best of breed digital manufacturing ecosystem. It's comprised of plastic and metal 3D printers, print materials, on demand manufacturing services and end-to-end manufacturing software solutions. Combinations of these products and services address a variety of advanced applications- ranging from Aerospace, Automotive, and Consumer Goods to Medical, Dental, and Jewelry. For example, 3D Systems' precision healthcare capabilities include simulation, Virtual Surgical Planning, and printing of medical and dental devices as well as patient-specific surgical instruments. More information on the company is available at www.3dsystems.com.
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