Seeking to reduce its downtimes and avoid the associated costs that can occur, HİDROMEK opted to leverage 3D printing in its vehicle manufacturing processes to help reduce the time and costs of traditional production methods.
Using the FFF 3D printer LOOP PRO, HİDROMEK was able to fabricate fully functional parts without the need for substantial post-processing. The decrease in time spent post-processing reduced the costs of implementing each end-use part into the vehicles.
“The surface quality is excellent,” said Hakan Telışık, Hidromek Design Studio Manager about the advantages of the parts 3D printed on the LOOP PRO. ”Parts are very rigid and functional; they are usable without or with minor post-processing.”
The HMK 130CS Soil Compactor, with end-use 3D printed parts. Video via HİDROMEK
LOOP 3D and the LOOP PRO 3D printer
Loop 3D is a 3D printer brand established by Turkish 3D printer manufacturer Teknodizayn. Based in Ankara, Teknodizayn has over 10 years of experience in the 3D printing industry, having operated as a reseller for a number of 3D printer and 3D scanner manufacturers. Its current portfolio includes 3D printers from UnionTech and HP, the company also supplies 3D scanners from Artec.
With a decade of experience, the Teknodizayn team decided to create its own 3D printer through the LOOP 3D brand. Based on practical know-how, the 3D printer addresses the requirements customers in verticals such as heavy industry, aviation, and government institutions.
The first beta model of the LOOP PRO was produced in 2017. Having gone through a series of improvements, the final iteration of the 3D printer was approved and premiered during the Formnext 2019 trade fair in Frankfurt. An FFF system, the LOOP PRO comes equipped with a build volume of 500 x 350 x 500 mm and features a modular printhead, magnetically attachable build plate, laser-assisted print bed calibration, and material conditioning unit. Additionally, the 3D printer is equipped with LOOP 3D CLOUD, a slicing, and management software developed in collaboration with 3DPrinterOS, a cloud 3D printer software developer based in San Francisco, USA.
“We are very excited to support manufacturers like Loop 3D to reach the market faster by reducing their R&D time. The net result is the customer can purchase €20,000 3D printer that exceeds the performance of a €200,000 printer. This means customers can purchase 10x more printers, at the same price point, and begin low-end production at unbelievable scale and quality,” said John Dogru, a founder of 3DPrinterOS.
3D printed end-use components save time and costs for HİDROMEK
HİDROMEK initially began life manufacturing attachments for agricultural tractors. In the following years, the company started to manufacture heavy construction machinery, and since then, its product range in this field has expanded.
Their machines now include backhoe loaders, hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders, motor graders, and soil compactors. Employing around 2000 employees, these machines are manufactured in six production facilities including 4 factories in Ankara, 1 factory in İzmir, and a facility in Thailand.
HİDROMEK sought to reduce the length of manufacturing time in order to meet rigid time schedules involving large investments. As such, the company used the LOOP PRO 3D Printer to help produce a number of end-use parts.
An example of an end-use component that HİDROMEK has 3D printed is the housing of the controlling unit on one of its HMK 130 CS Compact Rollers. The controlling unit houses the operator controls for the vehicle, with internal mounted electronics. In order to ensure the functionality of this critical component, the housing must meet strict tolerance and durability requirements.
The standard process for developing the housing unit is a labor and capital intensive undertaking. One stage of the design process requires the production of a master model and silicone molds. Using the Loop PRO 3D printer, HİDROMEK 3D printing the controlling unit housing at an 80 percent reduction in cost per single part.
In total, the model, measuring 390 mm x 100 mm x 95 mm, took 48 hours to 3D print, and cost $54. The parts, made from LOOP 3D’s Dynamide Carbon Fiber and Glass Fiber filaments, passed HİDROMEK’s certification tests for direct use in the company’s heavy-duty vehicles.
“We are proud to cooperate with heavy-duty automotive industry and Hidromek which is a challenging test for our DYNAMIDE © CARBON FIBER and GLASS FIBER materials – it was another test we passed with success thanks to the combination of hardware and software of LOOP 3D. LOOP 3D software has an intuitive and user-friendly interface and model preparation is a matter of minutes. It was a pleasure to work with 3DPrinterOS to make it happen,” said Erkan Ustaoğlu, co-founder of LOOP 3D.
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