3D Printing Technology
As from 2010 we are proud to announce our ability as Own Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) as we acquired three dimensional – 3D printing technology and skills in order to produce our own custom-fit hearing protection devices.
The manufacturing process is headed by our Production Manager, Eddie Pretorius who has been with Custom Care since the early days in 2000. Eddie is also qualified as a Hearing Conservation Consultant and completed 3D Systems Projet HD3000 Technical training in Paris and RSM Materialise Design Training in Belgium. This enables u us to be the sole provider of this 3D Printing Technology products and services in South Africa.
Our 3D printing technology solutions are not limited to the printing of custom-fit hearing protection, but also give us the ability to do prototype printing, saving you time and money when compared to the molding process when making prototypes. We are also able to assist with the sourcing with any of the technology or material required in this process.
How does it work?
The 3D printing technology Printer works almost identical to an Ink-Jet Printer, it uses two types of Cartridges (Support Material – Wax and then Build Material – Acrylic plastic). The 3D Printing cartridges are heated up and the material is pumped into two reservoirs in the Print Head. As the 3D Printer’s build platform moves back and forth, the 3D Printing Print Head moves up and down and slightly side to side, the 3D Printing Print Head sprays the material, drop-by-drop, onto the platform. The Building material is then cured with a 20 000V UV lamp, and thus the parts / products are built layer for layer.
The Wax material is used to fill up any empty spaces, in or around the part. After printing, the wax is then melted out and the parts cleaned. The 3D Printer accepts .STL files
Moving parts (e.g ball bearings) can be printed as a complete part by the 3D Printer, the design of the part just needs to allow for the Support Material (Wax) to be melted out, for the part move and function.