dddrop 3D Printers
Building a 3D Printer For Engineers with Integrated SOLIDWORKS Electronic Design Ecosystem
INTEGRATED PCB DESIGN, SCHEMATICS, AND ELECTRONICS COOLINGThe integrated SOLIDWORKS ecosystem allowed dddrop to conduct mechanical, electrical, and PCB design of the Leader TWIN in parallel, resulting in significant productivity gains. The company not only was able to use SOLIDWORKS PCB software to create and check PCB designs within their intended mechanical enclosures, but also tapped the SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Electronics Cooling Module to validate and optimize the board’s thermal performance and SOLIDWORKS Electrical design software to create electrical wiring and harnessing schematics. “Because we completed development on an integrated platform—with all data managed in SOLIDWORKS PDM—we were able to collaborate and iterate more effectively, avoiding the file transfers, data conversions, and additional work associated with using separate tools,” Uytdewilligen notes. “When changes were made, they rippled across all of the systems. This enabled us to cut the development time for the Leader TWIN in half while reducing prototyping requirements by a factor of three.”
MAKING PRINT HEAD THAT’S LIGHT YET STIFFIn addition to leveraging SOLIDWORKS electronics cooling simulation tools, dddrop made great use of SOLIDWORKS motion and structural analysis capabilities to improve the Leader TWIN’s performance. For example, the unit’s print head has two nozzles to support the printing of flexible materials. The print head needs to be lightweight but also stiff enough to maintain a high level of precision. “The SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium motion and deflection studies that we conducted indicated that the print head should be 1 mm plate steel,” Uytdewilligen recounts. “I said to myself, ‘That can’t work,’ and decided to prototype both 1 mm and 3 mm versions. The software was proven right and I was proven wrong because the 3 mm version was too heavy and didn’t work, while the 1 mm version functioned optimally.”
FAST RENDERINGS AND DOCUMENTATION SPEED TIME-TO-MARKETdddrop also utilized SOLIDWORKS Visualize rendering software to quickly create photorealistic images of the Leader TWIN to support marketing needs, and SOLIDWORKS Composer software to accelerate concurrent development of product documentation and user manuals. “With the integrated SOLIDWORKS electronic design ecosystem, we developed and launched the Leader TWIN in record time,” Uytdewilligen says. “The sweet spot for 3D printers in Europe is less than 5000 Euros, because injection-molding becomes a viable solution above that point,” Uytdewilligen continues. “SOLIDWORKS helped us reduce the time and cost of development, allowing us to come in substantially under that, resulting in a tripling of sales in one year.”
Leverage customer feedback regarding 3D printing requirements and functionality in order to develop 3D printer models that are specifically designed to meet the needs of engineers.
Utilize the integrated SOLIDWORKS electronic design ecosystem, including SOLIDWORKS Premium mechanical design, SOLIDWORKS Electrical schematics design, SOLIDWORKS PCB electronic design, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium structural analysis, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Electronics Cooling Module, SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional product data management, SOLIDWORKS Visualize rendering, and SOLIDWORKS Composer technical communication software solutions.
- Cut development cycles in half
- Reduced number of prototypes required by factor of three
- Tripled printer sales in one year
- Completed mechanical, electrical, and PCB design in parallel
Products(s) Used:SOLIDWORKS PCB
SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional
SolidWorks Simulation Premium
SolidWorks Flow Simulation