3D printing is helping De Beers Technologies push past the barriers set by traditional machine processes, allowing their designers to enter new territory.
The company has invested in the Stratasys Fortus 360mc professional grade 3D printer to create R&D and production parts at their state-of the art facility in Berkshire. This decision has amounted to a dramatic reduction in cost compared other industrial processes, and has also persuaded the company to invest in a second printer, the Stratasys Dimension 1200es.
“Until recently we did all of our 3D printing through a bureau service,” explains Technical Manager Trevor Poulter. “However, we soon discovered that the amount of printing we were doing would soon justify buying a 3D printer of our own. With the Fortus 360mc in place, we can fit R&D parts between production builds to produce prototypes or test pieces in a much quicker fashion.”
Senior Mechanical Engineer, Andrew Portsmouth also adds, “Whenever I come up with an idea the first thought is always ‘will it work’,” he says. “Now, however, we can put it on the Fortus overnight so that the next day we are testing it, assessing it, and figuring out any limitations. The following morning we are testing the next iteration. In terms of reducing development time, it’s impossible to put a value on what 3D printing has saved us.”