3D prototyping in Meccanica Prealpina

Meccanica Prealpina is a mechanical engineering and design company that operates in various industrial sectors, from intra-logistic to chemical-pharmaceutical, from food to thermoplastic. It provides a design and optimization service for machine tools, automated systems, mechanical systems, placing efficiency and punctuality among the key values of its company profile.

This article also tells about punctuality and efficiency, because Meccanica Prealpina – like many other companies – found itself having to face a market in continuous and rapid evolution, wanting to remain competitive and performing…

Noble goals, threatened by some problems encountered in the process of making some prototypes, which ended up being too expensive, especially if made with classic material removal techniques.

Fortunately (but above all thanks to the foresight of Meccanica Prealpina‘s management), in the future of the company there would have been a fair, a meeting, a discovery …

3ntr brings additive manufacturing to Meccanica Prealpina

In Meccanica Prealpina there were some problems in the realization of prototypes. In particular, when prototypes were made using the classic techniques of material removal, these were too expensive and took too much time to be produced..

Knowing the 3D printing technologies of polymers, Paolo Macchi (designer of Meccanica Prealpina) had begun to inquire about the opportunities offered by additive manufacturing. In particular, Macchi is attracted by the low costs that 3D printing offers, precisely during the prototyping processes.

However, the meeting with 3ntr during the Mecspe fair in Parma was decisive for the introduction of molded polymers in the processes of Meccanica Prealpina.

Macchi says that the company took part in the fair because it was looking for a reality that could be configured as a reliable supplier and as a partner with great skills in the world of 3D printing.

After a preliminary meeting, Meccanica Prealpina chose to rely on 3ntr, opting for an A4v4 3D printer with 3 extruders, with which they mostly print ABS components.

3D printing: special parts produced quickly
In order to get deeper into the topic, we asked Paolo Macchi to tell us how 3ntr 3D printers are used in the company, and how they helped to overcome the obstacles that emerged in the prototyping processes:

“They have certainly simplified the production of special parts, making it faster. – Macchi explains, to whom we ask for some examples of components made – We have 3D printed some multi-head accessories for anthropomorphic robots and gripping systems.».


Additive manufacturing: more performance, less time

In the image we show you, provided by Meccanica Prealpina, the body, the centerings, the spindle support are some of the parts of this gripping system made entirely with additive manufacturing processes.

«Our desire was to create a 3D printed product that was able to accommodate standard components, to be installed in a single group of small dimensions and, possibly, easy to wire. – Explains Paolo Macchi, detailing the timing and dynamics of implementation – Starting from the components and their plant arrangement, we designed the support, which was then printed in full compliance with the tolerances allowed. If we had had to make the support in metal, this would have been impossible, both for costs and for the masses. With the solution of 3D printing we have solved both these problems, in a very short time compared to what we would have had to wait if we had turned to conventional channels. ».

3D printing: advantages and benefits
3D printing is a technology that not only boasts the production of high-performance components in a short time, but that can also ensure various benefits and advantages. We asked Macchi to offer us his point of view, on these aspects:

Precision and the possibility of using a variety of materials” are, according to the designer of Meccanica Prealpina, the main advantages of 3D printing.

In particular, the 3D printer in use at their company, model A4v4, is equipped with 3 extenders: technology also successfully used in the medical field, precisely by virtue of the transversality and versatility of this technology.

Compared to a production process by material extraction, 3D printing opens up new “[…] possibilities in the automation sector and more performing solutions obtained in less time.”, Macchi insists on this topic, speaking of the results obtained in Meccanica Prealpina thanks the use of 3D printing and ends up saying:

«With 3D printing you can finalize the component so that it is consistent with the project and your needs, optimizing it for what it will be its specific function. Specifically, the precision of the 3ntr printers is particularly relevant, as they allow the creation of very detailed prototypes and components, with minimum tolerances.».

The reasons described by Macchi are at the basis of the wide spread diffusion of 3D printing in very different fields: from the creation of seats for offices and collective spaces, to the production of components for off-road motorcycles.

The limit is the imagination.

One day, this story could be your story. Contact us to discover our professional solutions for 3D Printing . With the help of our consultants we will find new solutions for your design and production.

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