Dri-Cities uses industry-leading 3D printing technology to bring their innovative waterproofing solution to market.
Vancouver-based Dri-Cities has been in the Canadian building maintenance industry for over 30 years, where they have been caulking high-rise buildings and warehouse tilt-ups across the country.
Typical installation of caulking requires the application of masking tape to either side of the failed joint, to help aid in width control and clean up. At Dri-Cities they felt there had to be a better way, and came up with “Dual-Bead (S)” and “Dual-Bead Pro (S)”, which is a dual nozzle system for an industrial b-line caulking gun. This unique nozzle design was created to accelerate the installation of a pre-cured silicone/urethane strip product.
Dri-Cities approached Tempus 3D to help provide a local, affordable solution to build functional prototypes for real-world testing, and provide on-demand manufacturing of low-volume production runs of the final product.
Custom prototyping with rapid part iteration and refinement
Market validation prior to large investment
On-demand manufacturing of low-volume production runs
Rapid turnaround times from a local manufacturer
Photo courtesy of Dri Cities
Dri-Cities first designed their product and produced initial prototypes using 3D printing technology that is commonly found in most service bureaus, which manufactures one part at a time. The products were high quality, however the costs were prohibitively high and the economics of printing at volume didn’t make sense. Dri-Cities also looked into injection molding as a manufacturing process, but they found that the cost of having molds created for each of their products and producing low-volume initial production runs was an expensive hurdle at their stage of production, before having market traction that would attract and warrant such a high level of investment.
Dri Cities recognized very early on that the cost of injection molding for their product was not a viable option. Costs of having molds produced for their product could have been more that $5,000, which was cost-prohibitive for further product development and iteration. Dri-Cities required an economical way to produce a sufficient volume to prove market demand and get distribution agreements in place. Unfortunately, traditional methods of manufacturing and low-volume 3D printing technologies just didn’t make sense.
Dri-cities approached Tempus 3D for a solution. Tempus was able to produce their first parts for Dri-Cites in early 2022, using HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, which is an industry leader in manufacturing low-to-mid-volume production runs of commercial-grade plastics, at a low cost per part. Their central location in southern BC allowed Tempus to get their parts delivered to Dri-Cities within days of ordering.
The prototypes and sample parts that Tempus 3D produced for Dri-Cities were used as samples for initial discussions with distribution partners across North America, and were used to supply initial inventory.
Industrial 3D printing allowed dri-cities to refine their prototype in an extremely cost effective manner, and once proven they were able to go to market with an initial product without investing a substantial amount of money in inventory and while still maintaining a profit margin.
With the benefit of having end-use parts 3D printed, Dri-Cities was able to get to market with their initial production run and secure significant market interest. This has allowed The Dri-Cities to test the market early without incurring massive research and design costs while keeping their inventory and raw materials cost near zero. They can order more product and raw materials on an as-needed basis and scale in a way that only 3D printing would allow.
Dri-Cities and Tempus 3D continue to work together with the production of parts and are both heavily invested in brining manufacturing back to Canada. As Dri-Cities continues to see increasing demand for their products Tempus is there to help them scale and meet their needs. With in-house manufacturing and online quote and ordering, Tempus 3D is uniquely capable of serving the Canadian market with cost effective overnight shipping and the ability to turn around rush orders in as little as 24 hours. We at Tempus feel this is just the beginning of what manufacturing will look like in the future and 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.