Imagine empty offices and empty warehouses. It is night time, and the factories seem to be resting in the twilight. In one area of the complex, however, there is a subtle and constant hum.
Some LEDs betray the presence of someone, of something that works, incessantly, optimizing times and transforming nights and weekends into productive moments.
We speak to the Printing & Digital Manufacturing Specialist
The story of the advent of 3D printing by 3ntr in ABB Italy is by Fabio Amidani, 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing Specialist of the Italian division of the ABB Group. ABB is a world leader in the fields of electrification, robotics, motion and automation. A cutting-edge group, in which, of course, additive manufacturing technologies were well known:
«We were already using 3D printers – explains Amidani – but we were looking for solutions that could help us in reducing production times and related costs. It was for this reason that we started looking for alternatives, up to the meeting with the solutions proposed by 3ntr.».
ABB Italia’s choice fell on a 3D printer model A2V4, used for the production of equipment for internal use in ABS. The SSU00 was chosen as support material which, as we will see, proved to be above expectations.
The 3D printer, as we have said, is mainly used at night or on weekends, to take advantage of moments that, otherwise, would be considered dead times. This helps to make the choice of a 3ntr 3D printer economically advantageous which, moreover, is faster and less expensive as regards installation and configuration, which are really very simple.
Support equipment, from CATIA to 3D printing
«With the A2V4 we print support equipment for our laboratory: these are containers inside which we house electronic components. – Explains Amidani – In addition to this, we produce parts for institutions and customers, with whom we coordinate the project, before proceeding with the CAD moderation (with CATIA software) of the required components. Then we develop the slicing and go into production on the 3D printer.».
The nature of the internal and external projects, explained Amidani, makes it a priority to be able to count on stable materials, such as those proposed by 3ntr, which are solid, resistant to wear over time, and highly performing from the point of view of geometric reliability. This last aspect, in particular, is central when projects, created with a performing software such as CATIA, must be translated into physical components, minimizing deformations and divergences from the digital object.
At this point, however, we believe it is important to dedicate some space to ABB because, only by understanding the size of this group, it is possible to understand, consequently, the versatility of 3D printing and the multiplicity of applications that this technology makes possible.
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company in the fields of electrification, robotics, automation and motion. Its history began over 130 years ago and today the group has 105,000 employees in over 100 countries.
The four business areas in which it operates are:
- Process Automation
- Robotics & Discrete Automation
3ntr. Three dimensions, many advantages.
Therefore, the installation of a 3D printer like the A2V4 generally involves a reduction in production times and costs. But the advantages are not limited to this:
“We have found that, thanks to the use of SSU00 as a support material, the component removal process is very simple. Furthermore, the piece is not damaged and is already well finished and free of imperfections. – Amidani adds – Precisely the excellent print quality guaranteed by the 3ntr machines struck us, together with the performance of the materials: solid and resistant to wear and time, they do not have large deformities or inaccuracies due to the printing process, guaranteeing a excellent geometric reliability in the transition from the CATIA project to the physical object. ».
3D printers and 3ntr polymers
To learn more about the machines and materials we wrote about in this article, we invite you to visit the sections of our site dedicated to 3D printers and polymers used in additive manufacturing. And if you liked the story of ABB Italia’s A2V4, don’t miss the other case histories that you can find on our blog.
One day, this story could be your story. Contact us to discover our professional solutions for 3D Printing. Con l’aiuto dei nostri consulenti troveremo nuove soluzioni per la tua progettazione e produzione.
With the help of our consultants we will find new solutions for your design and production.