Case study

Improving precision folding with 3D printing

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Girbau part printed in EPD 1006 Resin.

Girbau part printed in EPD 1006 Resin.

As a manufacturer of equipment for laundry services, Girbau sought to improve the efficiency of their folding machines using additive manufacturing.

Overview

As  a  manufacturer  of  equipment  for  laundry services,  Girbau  sought  to  improve the efficiency  of  their  folding  machines.  In realizing  that  the  air  flow  of  their folding machine  was  not  optimal  for  the  precision folding  they  needed,  Girbau  turned to  3D printing for the speed, efficiency, limitless design possibilities,  and  cost-effectiveness  of  this technology  to  create  the  single  solution  part they needed to optimize their folding machines.

Challenges

  1. Redesigning  of  a  part  within  a  folding machine  while  still  maintaining  competitive price point. 
  2. Using a material that is strong enough to create  small  cavities  within  the  part to withstand high pressure

The  Girbau  Group  is  a  company  that manufactures  equipment  for  laundry  services. 
With its headquarters in Vic (Barcelona-Spain), it has four production centers: specializing in the manufacture of equipment  for  small  and medium s
ized laundromats, and for the industrial  division,  corresponding  to  laundry service providers with higher production requirements. In  addition  to  distributors worldwide.


Design-Driven Mamufacturing

Optimizing internal geometry for better performances

With the optimization of the inner geometries of the part, the quantity of pressured air required to fulfill its function was reduced from 5,5 bars to 4 bars which resulted in lower air consumption and a more sustainable machine. The  small channels  created  within  the  part  to direct  airflow  significantly  reduced  the  noise impact  the  machine  makes. Previously  with  the basic drilled tube part, the airflow did not have a precise direction and the single tunnel echoed the sound of the air pressure.

Close up of the 3D printed part, front angle 

Side view of the part attached to machine showing its function 

The  small  channels  created  within  the  part  to direct  airflow  significantly  reduced  the noise impact  the  machine  makes.  Previously  with  the basic drilled tube part, the airflow did not have a precise direction and the single tunnel echoed the sound of the air pressure.

Making the most of integrated functions

Overview of the airflow process The simplification of their part which now had integrated functions such as supports that made it  possible  to  easily  attach  their  part  to  a  rack within the folding machine. 

A  more  compact  model  that  would  not  be possible to find in the market or challenging to create with traditional manufacturing methods.

 Integrated functions Ultracur3D® EPD 1006 : The precision needed to meet manufacturing challenges

With a final design, Girbau turned to Sculpteo’s online printing service to create a prototype that would  potentially  be  the  final  part  for  their machines. They decided on SLS (selective laser sintering) technology and Nylon PA12 material. When testing the part, they realized that there was  excess  powder  from  the  PA12  material blocking the airflow. 

With  Sculpteo’s  responsive  customer  support, Girbau  was  advised  to  use  LCD  (Liquid Crystal Display)  printing  technology  to  create  tiny channels  within  the  part,  which powder technology cannot do, using the resin material EPD  1006.  Parts  printed  with resin  materials have high accuracy and are perfect for designs that  require  high precision,  like  Girbau’s  part. Using  LCD  technology  to  print  their  part  also allows for higher productivity, thanks to its large printing  trays  that  allow  for  large series productions. 

Following Sculpteo's design guidelines about the specificities  of  this  material,  they designed  the part so that the inner surfaces are free of any supports,  ensuring  the optimization  of  airflow. Sculpteo’s  design  guidelines  helped  Girbau ensure that their design would have the highest quality print and functionality possible. 

Material Spotlight: EPD 1006

Ultracur3D® EPD 1006 is a resin for 3D printing, developed  by  Photocentric  technology and belonging  to  the  photopolymer  materials Engineering Plastic Daylight (EPD) line. This is a photosensitive resin.

This resin is suitable for many applications and is particularly useful for manufacturing large parts, with a platform measuring 510 mm x 280 mm. The Ultracur3D® EPD 1006 offers the ability to create  high-quality  components  for  demanding applications  and industries  at  a  competitive price.

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