When your corporate philosophy is to strive for 100% confidence in product functionality, lead time and expenses could prove astronomical if the right technology systems are not in place. Akaishi, of Shizuoka, Japan, develops several lines of correctional footwear as well as massage devices for the face. The company found that by bringing prototyping in-house via a Dimension 3D printer, they could verify functionality as much as they wanted, as the cost per prototype was 73% lower and lead time was reduced by 90% from previously outsourced prototyping services.
The success of in-house prototyping with the footwear lines led Akaishi’s team to incorporate prototype iterations in other lines, including a delicate facial massager. To ensure a more functional prototype, the company turned to Stratasys’ Fortus line, which uses Fused Deposition Modeling technology and advanced thermoplastic materials that hold up to substantial pressure. Akaishi continues to incorporate additive materials and systems and now produces manually operated injection molds and more in its operation. “We can say this is surely the ultimate method of verification!” said Mr. Makoto Muraoka.
Read the entire Akaishi in-house 3D printing case study