DustRam optimizes production and saves costs with Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology

“I was pretty skeptical at first until I saw the machine in action and realized I could print about four times as many items in about 1/10 of the time and at about 1/2 to 3/4 of the cost. The quality of the parts approached the fit and finish of parts made from expensive molds. This is a game changer in so many obvious ways.”

Key benefits
 
  • Reduced production time from 4-5 months for original metal parts to just days for the MJF plastic parts.

  • Parts are lighter, more rugged, and more effective than the original design.

  • Production costs were reduced by 50-75%.

  • The weight of the vacuum head was reduced 68% compared to the original metal part.

  • The cost of the nylon from HP was more than 10x less expensive than the nylon required for their previous 3D printing technology.

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Data courtesy of HP and Dustram. Photo courtesy of HP.

Organization

Dustram

Industry

Industrial machinery and equipment

Technology

HP Multi Jet Fusion

Material

HP PA12

Introduction

DustRam manufactures chipping hammer equipment to enable safe, dust-free removal of a variety of materials including paint, adhesive, tile, thinset, stone and brick. The parts needed to be rugged and able to withstand an abusive environment without breaking down. The original version was made with aluminum and tool steel, which took 4-5 months to produce. The company turned to 3D printing to reduce production time, lower costs, and reduce the weight of the parts. Now, DustRam uses Multi Jet Fusion technology to produce more rugged and effective equipment while decreasing costs and production time.

Challenge

DustRam's original chipping hammer attachment was made with machined aluminum and tool steel. The manufacturing process included CNC machining, TIG welding, heat treat and wire EDM. This process took 4-5 months to produce a set of 10-15 vacuum heads, and the end product was heavy and expensive to produce. The company decided to switch to plastic to make the parts lighter and save production costs. The manufacturer originally used an FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer for prototyping, but this technology was slow and the end product was not strong or aesthetically pleasing enough to be used for final part production. Injection molding was prohibitively expensive for the small production runs they were producing, and did not provide the flexibility needed for ongoing design revisions.

Solution

Dustram embraced 3D printing to produce parts for it's equipment, and as of November 2018 was 3D printing approximately 60 different parts and 25 different fixtures for their equipment and associated products. The company compared their current processes to HP Multi Jet Fusion technology and calculated that they could increase productivity by four times and reduce costs by 50-75%. Jack King, president of Dustram LLC, says “The quality of the parts approached the fit and finish of parts made from expensive molds. I manufacture extremely high-quality equipment in low numbers, so purchasing expensive molds that I could never change did not make a lot of sense.”

Result

The resulting savings in time, weight, and costs for many of their parts were impressive. For example, it took approximately 120 hours to print one complete PulseRam vacuum head with FDM technology, compared to about 17 hours with Multi Jet Fusion. The weight of this part was reduced 68% from 4.63 kg for the original metal part to 1.45 kg with HP PA12, and the cost of production was reduced by more than $2,000 USD. The cost of nylon 3D printing material was also much less expensive than their previous 3D printing technology. “For example: With the other printer I used to use, it would cost approximately $78,345 to purchase their nylon compared to
$7,150 from HP. The nylon from HP is more than 10 times less expensive.”

 

“My industry of dust-free tile removal is poised for tremendous growth,” King says. “Having an HP MJF printer will allow me to surpass and stay ahead of the competition as it comes.”

View the full case study by HP  

Learn more about HP Multi Jet Fusion  

Learn more about HP PA12

How to design for Multi Jet Fusion

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 Photos courtesy of HP and DustRam.