“Protoduction” initiative delivers extra large batches of hanger components for Adhesive Technology’s epoxy tubes.
Merit3D, an additive mass production company based in rural Utah, is leveraging high-speed LCD technology and Magna 3D printers from Photocentric to spearhead a groundbreaking approach to mass production that promises to reshape traditional manufacturing practices. The company has achieved remarkable milestones, including one of the largest single 3D print orders to date, with the first order of parts for Adhesive Technologies exceeding 1 million pieces.
In this remarkable collaboration, the leading supplier of epoxy products was facing supply chain challenges and partnered with Merit3D after hearing of their prowess in mass-producing parts using additive manufacturing. Adhesive Technology sought a solution for hanger production, specifically for their epoxy tubes. A hanger for epoxy products is a device or component used to attach the mixing nozzle to the epoxy tube. With products distributed across major retail stores, their supply chain issues demanded an innovative approach.
Merit3D wasted no time in designing and rigorously testing parts on their cutting-edge Photocentric Magna printers. The team successfully qualified a groundbreaking material, EPD 1006, developed in collaboration with BASF. This material, akin to Polypropylene used in various consumer goods, is efficiently printed on the Magna printers. Within weeks, Merit3D achieved a remarkable feat – producing and delivering an astounding 40,000 parts per week to Adhesive Technology.
Spencer Loveless, CEO of Merit3D, hailed the project as a significant step towards reshoring efforts and fortifying America’s manufacturing sector. “Manufacturing is undergoing a digital revolution, with companies – both large and small – embracing additive manufacturing,” said Loveless. He highlighted the increasing trend of utilizing 3D printers for prototyping, which, with advancing technologies and declining equipment costs, has transformed additive manufacturing into a viable mass production option. Merit3D further coined the term “Protoduction” to encapsulate the seamless transition from prototype to final production, boasting identical quality and materials.
Blake Merrell, Co-founder and COO of Merit3D, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the awe-inspiring potential of this process. “It’s amazing how fast a company can now go from prototyping to mass production.”
The hanger, a pivotal component attaching the mixing nozzle for epoxy applications to the epoxy tube, showcases the true power of additive manufacturing. While injection molding could have efficiently manufactured this part, additive manufacturing provides unmatched design agility and continuous improvement capabilities. As a result, the hanger design has evolved to become more versatile and universally compatible with various mixing nozzles.
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