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Additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies represent a valid alternative to CNC industrial production systems or traditional in general.

In this case study, we redesigned and converted an application, improving its performance, through production with our SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3d printing systems.

New industrial application

Progettazione di un nuovo componente di presa e movimentazione del prodotto basato sul principio del piano aspirante con camere di vuoto differenziato per il settore delle macchine automatiche.


Objectives of the development process:

  • improved production performance (rpm) of the automated line on which the component is installed
  • reduce the weight of the component
  • reduction of the assembly criticality
  • reduction of time to market

Design For Additive Manufacturing

According to the principles of additive manufacturing and 3D printing design, we proceeded through the optimization of conventional geometry in order to make the most of the potential of 3D Selective Laser Sintering systems.

Thanks to the re-design process of the application, we have achieved a significant increase in the performance of the part through solutions that are impossible to achieve with CNC or subtractive technologies in general.

More details:

  • the integrated channels flow has been optimized for the air depression that allows the product to be moved inside the automated line
  • the component has been lightened while maintaining high mechanical properties
  • two vacuum gripping points have been eliminated
  • the threaded metal inserts have been integrated in the post process
  • the components of the system have been grouped in a single monolithic geometry in order to reduce the criticalities of the assembly (part consolidation)
  • traditional perforations have been replaced with openings designed according to actual needs and not according to ease of execution;

Tecnologie e materiali di manifattura 3D sls

The new application has been printed by Prosilas with Selective Laser Sintering Machines (SLS). The following materials were used for prototypes and functional parts:

  • Polyamide PA12 (biocompatible in accordance with EN ISO 10993-1 and USP/level VI/121 °C, and approved for food contact)
  • Polyamide PA12 blends: Alumide PA12+ Aluminium, PA12GF  PA12 with glass spheres, PA 603 CF PA12+carbon fiber)

Post- process and surface treatments

In the post-printing phase, we further optimised the application’s performance with specific post-process actions implemented through technologies in Prosilas.

Surface treatments applied in post-process:

  • Micro shot peening – process that eliminates the release of dust particles typical of parts produced in SLS
  • Vapor Smoothing – industrial and automated process that improves surface quality by reducing roughness by 35% and makes the  part totally waterproof.

Goals : SLS vs CNC

  • weight reduction of the component
  • realization of complex geometries able to improve the fluid dynamic performance of the integrated ducts
  • part consolidation – reduction of the total number of system parts (the component designed for solid machining was composed of: 2 processed polymer elements + 1 die-cut gasket + 4 threaded locks)
  • gasket elimination
  • simplification of the connection interface to the machine with elimination of two vacuum points
  • improvement of the overall performance of the automated line housing the components
  • improvement of the timing of supply regarding the machining from full

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