There are things that never change or, at least, change very slowly. As if they were placed on more stable foundations than others. Then there are things that change very, very quickly thanks to the continuous study and development of new technologies, with increasingly advanced productions.
This is the story of one of the first 3ntr “A4” 3D printer models, of the company that chose it for the footwear market, and of what happened later…
Additive manufacturing for the footwear industry
When Tecnostudio decided to purchase a professional printer for 3D printing, the company was operating in the footwear sector.
In the past, the company had also already used a 3D printing machine for gypsum. With it, prototypes of soles were printed which, duly modified and perfected, were used for the production of aluminum molds. Molds in which the rubber soles were made by injection. Making aluminum molds and making any changes thereafter is a notoriously expensive process, with important time frames. This is why we started looking elsewhere, in search of other production systems and more modern solutions for 3D printing of polymers.
The professional additive manufacturing, carried out thanks to 3ntr machines, allowed us to create shoe prototypes in a quick and versatile way, printing even half a pair, so as to be able to view them in real size and, possibly, glue them to the upper part, to have a more truthful idea of what the finished product would have been.
3D printed soles and shoe models
The specific need was to be able to print prototypes of soles in flexible material, so as to better evaluate the volume and proportions, before starting a larger-scale production. From the point of view of materials, the choice fell on ABS and TPU filaments: polymers widely used in 3D printing.
The market changes, the 3ntr A4 remains
Prototypes and 3D printed models have always been useful to TECNOSTUDIO S.R.L. to study products during the design process, speeding it up. Even when the market changed and the company had to transform.
The market sector has changed and the type of objects produced has changed, something has not changed at the center of the production processes. Like a hub around which all the change revolved, 3ntr’s A4 3D printer remained in place. It just started printing different objects …
Non-slip TPU feet
Starting from 2008, from an idea of Paolo Piccolo, Tecno Pilates was created, a brand born to design and build tools for Classic Pilates (strictly inspired by the original concept, conceived by Joseph Pilates).
The 3ntr A4 is now used in the 3D printing in series of components for Pilates equipment and, more specifically, for the production of non-slip feet printed in TPU ELASTO 95. The latter are also used in the Luxury range tools, characterized by the refined design and particular attention to the exclusivity of the product.
3D printing: versatile and profitable
Currently, TecnoPilates manufactures three different types of feet through additive manufacturing processes.
3D printing made it possible to avoid rather substantial expenses (starting with the one necessary for the creation of the injection molds).
Paolo Piccolo underlines: «The flexibility with which we can work today helps us to design and constantly improve our product. This is very important for us, from a double point of view: both technical and commercial!».
3ntr: partner for professional 3D printing
To find out about all the companies that have chosen and continue to choose 3D printing, to make their production processes more efficient and optimized, contact us using the form on the site. The entire range of 3D printers, filter units and drying systems is described in the dedicated section.
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