At Nuspark we are always looking for ways to innovate and improve upon our machinery. One of our recent developments has had to do with 3D printed components. To those of you that are unfamiliar with 3D printing the process is simple: a material is placed down on a bed, layer by layer, slowly building up to create a finished product. Many different technologies exist to achieve this layer by layer part creation, with a number of different materials available. Working with a few different suppliers we created parts using a number of technologies and materials to get a feel which might be the best fit for us. Once we felt confident our selected supplier could produce parts which rivaled or exceeded the conventional manufactured parts which they were to replace; we began to utilize these component in production.
We have discovered there are some fantastic benefits to 3D printing along the way:
- The first is low weight, parts can be printed in a semi hollow structure
- Ability to create complex parts, some which cannot even be created via CNC
- Allows unique, cost effective options to otherwise expensive solutions
Below you can see a video of a machine which uses 3D printed grippers, this allowed us to grip and stabilize each bottle individually, while staying within the customers budget. The light weight also played a large roll, granting us the ability to maximize products per pick and increase the speed of packaging without affecting price.