Case Study - RV Part Replacement
RV owner re-designs and replaces a hard-to-find part for their recreational vehicle with additive manufacturing
Ability to recreate parts that are no longer available due to age or supply chain contraints.
Use CAD software to improve part design and address key failure points of existing parts.
An RV owner had a broken exterior door handle for their RV which had become brittle over time due to exposure to the elements and extended use, and they were unable to find a replacement. They also wanted to upgrade the design to strengthen the areas that had failed. They approached Tempus 3D for a solution.
The challenge with this project was to replicate the original part, then upgrade the design to address the key failure points while ensuring that the end product was robust enough for long-term use and aesthetically appealing. It was also important to ensure that the re-design and manufacturing process was an economically viable option for the use case.
The first step in this project was to determine the best approach for re-designing the part. The two choices were to re-design it from scratch in Fusion 360, or to have the old part 3D scanned and create a new model using the scan data. In this instance, due to the relatively simple geometric design of the part, we opted to re-design the part from scratch. This ensured any warp in the original part was not replicated, and also allowed for easier re-design to reinforce the weak points of the original part.
Once the initial design was completed it was reviewed with the customer in order to confirm the structural improvements met their requirements and discuss any aesthetic changes that may be desirable.
Once the final design was approved, the part was ready to manufacture. An HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer was selected for the manufacturing process for it's speed, precision, and overall print quality. This technology also has a large enough print capacity to create the part, which is approximately 30 cm (1 ft) long. One challenge with 3D printing a long thin part is the potential for the part to warp as it cools. With some sound advise from HP on part orientation and print settings along with the support of Hawkridge Systems we were able to eliminate any warp in the part.
Nylon PA 12 was selected as the material because it is robust enough to stand up to long-term wear-and-tear, and it is also resistant to water and UV damage. Nylon is also painatable, allowing the customer to paint the handle shite to match the original part. Cerakote was also an option for a long-lasting, high-quality finish.
The customer also had a small spare part that he wanted to get copies of, which Tempus included as part of the package.
The team at Tempus 3D collaborated with the customer to produce a part that exceeded their expectations in terms of finish, colour, accuracy, and cost. If you an RV owner and have been having difficulty finding parts like this for your rig, maybe 3D printing is the solution for you.
About Tempus 3D
Tempus 3D is one of only a handful of HP-certified 3D printing service bureaus located in Canada. As part of the HP digital manufacturing network, we have an established track record of working collaboratively with partners across Canada in the prototyping and development of innovative products.
Head quartered in British Columbia, Tempus serves customers across North America with expertise in the digital manufacturing revolution. We at Tempus feel this is just the beginning of what manufacturing will look like in the future; it will be more responsive, more custom, and more local allowing innovators across sectors to bring products to market quicker and in a more environmentally friendly way.
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