3D printers help manufacturers evaluate concepts early in the design process. The companies get feedback ensuring major investments like injection molding tooling are made only after the design has been perfected. The result is often substantial reductions in product development and subsequent manufacturing costs.
"A New Mindset in Product Design" is a Stratasys white paper that discusses the impact of 3D printing on the product development process. Following is the fourth of four excerpts, which explains how a developer of remotely piloted helicopters used 3D printing to reduce product-development costs.
At Leptron, a developer of remotely piloted helicopters for law-enforcement, military and civilian use, engineers used a 3D printer to design, test and build a tiny surveillance drone. The RDASS 4 has eight modular fuselage components that can combine for various uses. Designing the complex drone and testing it to withstand crash landings required an iterative approach involving 200 design changes, including structural reinforcements and aerodynamic improvements. In-house 3D printing cut product-development costs for the RDASS 4 by 60 percent over injection molding. Further, the project may not have been commercially feasible without the 6-month head start that 3D printing offered in getting the drone to market.
View or download the complete "A New Mindset in Product Design" white paper.
View the first excerpt previously posted the week of July 2nd.
View the second excerpt previously posted the week of July 16th.
View the third excerpt previously posted the week of July 23rd.