One of the main challenges in 3D printing is to produce prototype parts that can be tested and used in the same way as the final product. Objet has overcome many aspects of this challenge thanks to the Connex multi-material 3D printing system which can print a range of different material properties at the same time within the same model.
The 3D printed flashlight assembly in the photos and the video above is a great example of this multi-material technology being used to create a functional prototype. The flashlight housing is 3D printed in 3 separate parts – the main cylindrical body with overmolded hand grips and a working rubber-like ‘on-off’ button; the bezel which screws tightly and neatly onto the main cylinder body; and the lighting cover which fits inside the bezel – 3D printed in clear transparent material.
With the battery and torch mechanism inserted inside, the multi-material prototype looks, feels and functions very much like the finished off-the-shelf article. ‘Rapid Prototype? Let me introduce you to Final Product. Please enjoy a fruitful and successful business relationship…’