How Biesse has increased design freedom, improved speed-to-market, and met customer requirements more quickly and more profitably with industrial 3D printing technology.
The Biesse Group was founded in Pesaro, Italy in 1969 by Giancarlo Selci. The company offers modular solutions from the design of turnkey systems for large furniture manufacturers to individual automatic machines and workstations for small and medium-sized businesses.
The company has a variety of subsidiaries which design, manufacture and market a full range of technologies and solutions for the wood industry, including furniture, windows and other wood components. Biesse has also recently expanded to plastic processing machines, with solutions designed specifically for this growing market.
“Within Biesse, we have a business unit entirely dedicated to the supply of machines that allow edging“, says the company's technical and prototype office manager, Marco Mencarini.“They allow the application of plastic or wood to the edges of the furniture. As you can imagine, our machines have to support a diverse set of assembly needs. To support them, we need to create a wide range of highly customized parts and tools.”
Some Biesse edgebanding machines operate at very high speed and consist of many moving parts that help the customer guide the edge through the assembly using supports, channels and guides. In many cases, these production aids have to be tailored to the beading material used.The challenge they faced was the ability to quickly and affordably design and build these customized pieces.
Biesse uses a variety of manufacturing processes in it's product development, including 3D printing. “We’ve worked with 3D printing since late 1990’s, primarily for rapid prototyping,” says Mr. Mencarini. “The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution allows us to do much more, including helping us bridge the lead-time gap of making metal molds and even allowing us to produce final parts, especially in short-runs that would be impossible to profitably manufacture otherwise.”
As 3D printing has matured, they have continually explored new opportunities. When HP launched its first HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers, Biesse became one of the first to adopt an HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 printer.
The company chose HP because HP's Multi Jet Fusion technology meets a variety of needs.
In addition to simple models, Biesse wanted a more efficient way to create functional prototypes of its various mechanical components, including connecting rods, pulleys, sprockets, couplings and other parts. An example is the gear box pictured below.
The part initially required multiple manufacturing technologies, including injection molding and computer numerical control (CNC) machining. Biesse's engineers wanted to assess whether the part could be redesigned using 3D printing.
The design and manufacturing team optimized the geometry of the part in ways that couldn't be made with traditional manufacturing processes, such as CNC machining and injection molding), creating a part that was more efficient and less expensive part to produce usign HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology.
With creative part redesign and HP Multi Jet Fuison 3D printing processes, The Biesse team was able to reduce the lead times required to create and improve their products. They found significant productivity gains over other other 3D printing technologies and over traditional manufacturing techniques. This technology allows Biesse to beta-test a series of parts in hours rather than weeks. The quality of the parts features excellent surface quality, allowing Biesse to sandblast and paint parts comparable to other parts that are injection molded or computer numerically controlled (CNC) machined.
Biesse compared the cost and time savings to manufacture a series of 100 of these mechanical parts with HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), CNC machining, and injection molding. Their results showed significant advantages of MJF over traditional manufacturing processes, as summarized below.
HP Multi Jet Fusion CNC Injection Molding
cost: 100% cost: 300% cost first year: 700%
lead time: 1 day lead time: 20 days cost from year 2: 20%
lead time: 90 days
This case study, originally published by HP and Biesse, shows the potential for additive manufactuing with HP Multi Jet Fusion technology to revolutionize the manufacturing industry, saving companies significant time and money.
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Note: Case study and photos courtesy of HP and Biesse.
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