A regular customer recently asked if I could re-work a design to make it more cost effective for 3d printing at scale and I was more than happy to oblige! The part in question was a universal bracket for mounting security and in-vehicle cameras. As ever, it was a design that didn’t really warrant the investment needed for injection moulding given the regular introduction of new cameras to the market and 3d printing is the perfect gap-fill. I’ve printed hundreds (…in fact thousands) of them over the past few months, and all are now at work in commercial vehicles across the country, however it was time for an update.
Smaller, Faster to print and more economical to print…… simple!
Designing with 3d printing in mind up-front can make a significant difference to the speed and subsequent cost of a 3d print. Avoiding the need for support material, sizing and orientating for the greatest number of parts on a print run, all have a huge impact on print time. With a target of a 50% cost reduction, even with the addition of a bolt and nyloc nut to improve strength and adjustment options, the new part was a hit.
One of our first customers, Matrix Telematics needed a simple but effective method of ensuring the wiring on the back of their commercial dashcams couldn’t be removed by the vehicle driver. We worked with the customer to refine their idea into a 3D model which could be printed at scale, minimise material usage and ultimately ensure the part was as cost effective as possible without affecting performance.
Volumes were initially low as we prototyped the design, and having completed the trials we now supply both the manufacturer and their network of re-sellers with stock on-demand.