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The Advantages of Part Consolidation with Additive Manufacturing

Every manufacturing method has inherent limitations in it's design requirements. For example, CNC machining is limited to the angles the drill arm can reach, and injection molded parts must be designed for easy extraction from the mold. With each manufacturing process, increased complexity results in increased cost. This forces designers to construct the final object around the manufacturing method as much as for the functionality of the final part or assembly. 

Additive manufacturing, also known as industrial 3D printing, has added a new dimension the manufacturing industry. One of the many advantages of additive manufacturing is the ability to build forms that are not achievable with traditional manufacturing methods. Parts are built layer-by-layer or point-by-point, allowing very complex geometries to be built that are not limited by traditional design constraints. This gives engineers the freedom to focus more on optimizing the component design, and less on the limitations of the manufacturing process. The many benefits include improved part functionality, weight reduction, decreased assembly time, and lower overall manufacturing costs.

In this article we will explore two case studies where designers and engineers were able to minimize the number of parts required in an assembly, optimize the functionality of the overall system and achieve significant time and cost savings in the manufacturing process.

HP - Optimized Drill Extraction Shoe

The Challenge

The nozzles of HP printheads are manufactured with a laser-cutting process. In this process, water is used to cool the laser and silicon plates. A drill extraction shoe removes waste water and silicone sludge produced during this process.

HP's original drill extraction shoe assembly was a multi-part assembly made from machined aluminum and standard parts. The assembly was re-designed to be manufactured with powder-bed fusion technology using an HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer. This manufacturing process allowed HP to modify their original design to create single part 3D printed with Nylon PA12.  


Machinery and Equipment

Total cost per part

CNC machined: $450

HP MJF: $18

Cost reduction: 95%


CNC machnined: 575 g

HP MJF: 52 g

Weight reduction: 90%


The part redesign and additive manufacturing process resulted in significant design advantages and cost reductions, including:

  • Optimized design: The design was optimized to reduce turbulence by modifying the end of the pipe to optimize flow. The single-piece design and waterproof nylon 12 material also resulted in a watertight part, without the requirement to post-process or coat the parts.

  • Lower cost: the cost to manufacture the upgraded drill extraction shoe was reduced by 95%.

  • Reduced weight: The weight of the original part was reduced by 90% using topology optimization and by reducing the overall material required to build the final part.

  •  Reduced lead time: The original part took 3-5 days to manufacture with CNC machining. With HP Multi Jet Fusion additive manufacturing, the part can be built in 24 hours.

HP drill extraction shoe - part consolidation with HP Multi Jet Fusion and design for addi

The original assembly compared to the one-piece design 3D printed with HP Multi Jet Fusion 



Part reduction

Original design: 16 parts

Updated design: 4 parts

The Challenge

Aerosport Modeling and Design Inc. was redesigning a rudder trim system used in an instrument panel which was used as part of their manufacturing assembly line. The original assembly was built of 16 machined and standard metal parts.


With the use of HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, the designers were able to reduce the number of pieces to a four-part assembly and replace the expensive metal parts with Nylon PA12.

Aerosport - Redesigning a rudder trim system


With the design freedom that is achievable with additive manufacturing, Aerosport achieved:

  • Fewer parts:  Aerosport was able to reduce the number of parts required for the assembly from 26 parts to only 4 parts.

  • Reduced manufacturing time:  Each part in the original assembly needed to be ordered or manufactured independently before a rudder trim system could be built. With additive manufacturing, the parts can be 3D printed on-demand and be ready for use within 24 hours.

  • Reduced assembly time: the assembly time is significantly reduced with only 1/6 the number of parts.

  • Lower cost: the combination of reduced material costs and faster assembly time resulted in significant savings for manufacturing the rudder trim system.

Additive manufacturing with Tempus 3D

Whether you are learning how to design for additive manufacturing or looking for a reliable Canadian manufacturer to produce high-quality, affordabe plastic parts, the team at Tempus 3D is available to help. With state-of-the art HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, online ordering and an HP certified team of professionals, Tempus will work with you to ensure you get the best value possible.  Contact us to learn more.

Data and photos courtesy of HP and Aerosport Modeling & Design.

Read the original HP case studies at and

Bike helmet printed with HP JF 5200 3D and HP 3D HR PA 12 - Data courtesy of Addit·ion.jpg

Looking for a local manufacturer? 

Tempus 3D is an Additive Manufacturing Service Bureau serving Western Canada with quick overnight delivery and competitive pricing. We use state-of-the-art HP MJF 5200 technology that allows for mass customization and production scale 3D printing. If you have a project you would like to talk to us about you can reach us at, or give us a call at 1-250-456-5268.

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