Our client wished to introduce improvements due to the complexity of the machine wiring and the consequential troubles they were facing during maintenance operations. They wished to develop a unit equipped with terminals or connectors which would include all bridges and electrical connections to plug in the cables.
To further facilitate the use of the unit, single wiring connections were arranged into groups. Based on the input from the client and the electrical wiring diagrams, we created a 3D model using a CAD tool which we then printed to obtain simplified versions of (non-working) prototypes. Some of these prototypes include connectors, while others incorporate terminals with screws. The client will test the single prototypes and choose one of them, according to which we will produce a working prototype equipped with all necessary electrical wiring.
The control unit, represented in the picture below, controls 64 electric motors. The device works with batteries and can be charged with standard USB chargers used for cell phones. The heart of the device is the Arduino Nano board which sends signals to the drivers which in turn power the motors. The device can be managed via a smartphone Android application which can be connected wirelessly thought Bluetooth. Since the control unit would have to fit into a very limited space, the standard casing model was out of question. Instead, we designed and printed a casing with corresponding supports which stores the device components.
In addition to the production of mechanical parts, this project also required of us to provide all electronic components, programme the microcontroller, and develop an Android application. The control unit is only a part of the innovation prototype, which we cannot describe in detail due to intellectual property protection. During the development and production phase we took a number of photos and videos which the client will use as part of their Kickstarter promotion campaign (we will publish the link to the campaign on this website).
The client needed a simple solution to optimize the production process of dyeing which would replace impractical cleaning of semi-finished products with self-adhesive tapes. We developed a tool into which disposable protective covers are inserted. The product is installed onto a pneumatic cylinder which pushes the cover down and fits it to the semi-finished product. Such covers couldn’t be made with milling, since this would produce too much wasted materials, therefore they had to be made with 3D printing.
In this case, we chose to make the covers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is characterized by suitable elasticity to nicely fit to the semi-finished product while applying minimum pressure. In addition, the material doesn’t heat up excessively during the dyeing process and it retains its form so as not to stain the product while being removed.
Moreover, the material had to allow for minimum wall thickness of the printed product and the fastest possible printing speed. The selection of the right material and the optimization of the parameters enabled us to create a product which was produced fast and was affordable for the client. The covers are disposable, yet they enable a much faster and simpler production process.
The client with which we are developing the above described connector, discovered that the connector would have to be additionally protected with removable protective devices. We received the following e-mail:
After a few attempts, we developed a cover which easily opens and closes, while its simple geometry will reduce the price of the plastic injection mould.
We printed 20 pieces of the product overnight and shipped them to the client abroad via the DHL Express Service. Two days later, the client tested the functionality of the prototype. Modern technologies enable us to provide extremely efficient and fast development services: from the basic idea which emerged while brushing teeth, to a series of working prototypes in under one week.