Explains how machine-making companies can achieve faster delivery, better quality, greater customization and more reliability
Features Idaho Steel, manufacturer of customer-specific food-processing equipment
Idaho Steel leveraged 3D Systems solutions to transform a 25-day manual process into a 4-day highly-automated process

Wednesday, Dec 2, 2015 4:00 AM

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, December 2, 2015 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that it will be hosting a design and manufacturing webinar with Idaho Steel on December 8th. The webinar will showcase how the ProX™ 500 Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer accelerates production times while delivering parts with performance and durability that exceed traditionally manufactured parts.

Since 1918, Idaho Steel has manufactured, maintained and customized food-processing equipment. Having built their reputation on quality products that address specific customer needs, the company turned to 3D Systems’ SLS solutions as a means to create unique, project-specific parts more efficiently and effectively. Leveraging the power of the ProX 500 and DuraForm® ProX nylon material, Idaho Steel has achieved accelerated project timelines, greater design freedom, and enhanced product performance.

Watch this video showcasing the many ways Idaho Steel is using 3D printing to maintain its competitive edge and meet evolving customer needs.

One of the ways Idaho Steel employs its ProX 500 is to customize forming inserts and pistons for its Nex-Gem Former machine, which its customers use to shape potato products. The forming inserts and pistons used to be comprised of five parts, machined out of plastic and held together with 25 or more fasteners. Using multiple CNC operations and manual assembly, it took up to 250 hours to complete a set of 16 forming pistons. Idaho Steel now makes the same number of pistons in 90 hours of virtually unattended, continuous run-time on the ProX 500.

"The machine can work through the night or over a weekend and the forming pistons require only about three to four hours of manual labor," said Jon Christensen, Marketing and Sales Manager at Idaho Steel. "Not only does 3D printing save time, it also frees up the CNC machines that would be tied up doing this job for 25 days."

In addition to creating parts faster, Idaho Steel uses its ProX 500 to improve part designs beyond the capabilities of traditional manufacturing. For example, because the forming insert and piston are made by the 3D printer as a complete, single assembly, the risk of weakness or failure at multiple disparate joints is greatly reduced.

"A lot of the strength and durability of our SLS 3D printed parts is a result of 3D printing eliminating the manufacturing limitations of CNC mills," continued Christensen. "Typically the weak points or the potential problem areas are where pieces had to be bolted together because of those limitations.”

Read more about Idaho Steel’s application of 3D Systems technology in this case study.

“We are always excited to help unlock innovation and market responsiveness through our technology,” said Charlie Grace, Chief Revenue Officer, Professional Products, 3D Systems. “Idaho Steel is just one example of how 3D printing with the ProX 500 can transform workflows into more resourceful, quality-oriented processes.”

The webinar will take place on December 8, 2015, at 11:00 AM EST. Pre-registration is required at this link.

To learn more about Idaho Steel, please visit www.idahosteel.com

About 3D Systems

3D Systems provides the most advanced and comprehensive 3D digital design and fabrication solutions available today, including 3D printers, print materials and cloud-sourced custom parts. Its powerful ecosystem transforms entire industries by empowering professionals and consumers everywhere to bring their ideas to life using its vast material selection, including plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles. 3D Systems’ leading personalized medicine capabilities include end-to-end simulation, training and planning, and printing of surgical instruments and devices for personalized surgery and patient specific medical and dental devices. Its democratized 3D digital design, fabrication and inspection products provide seamless interoperability and incorporate the latest immersive computing technologies. 3D Systems’ products and services disrupt traditional methods, deliver improved results and empower its customers to manufacture the future now.

More information on the company is available at www.3dsystems.com