Achim Sanzenbacher, Kärcher’s Manager, Prototyping, said, “Traditionally we would use milling or order individual standard parts to assemble prototypes for products.” Achim added, “This not only took a long time, but it also constrained our ability to create a true-to-life prototype with the look and feel of the final product.”
Designing the EASY!Force
Kärcher has been utilizing 3D printing technology by Stratasys for nearly 20 years. With the help of Stratasys’ PolyJet and FDM printers, the company produces prototypes in-house.
Sanzenbacher explained, “Our longstanding experience of Stratasys technology enables us to understand when and where 3D printing can improve our operations, shorten design cycles and support our employees in finding the best possible solutions for our customers.”
Kärcher has worked on the design of its high-pressure washing gun called the EASY!Force with the help of Stratasys’ J750 3D printer. The PolyJet printer was used to make the cleaning gun as ergonomic as possible, with various design iterations.
Florian Friedl, Rapid Prototyping specialist at Kärcher, said, “Creating a 3D printed prototype that allows us to replicate the different soft and hard materials in one print shortens our design cycles, as we can make a faster and better assessment that the prototype is fit-for-purpose and ensure our design meets the necessary functionality requirements much earlier.”
Stratasys’ J750 PolyJet system is known in the industry for manufacturing ultra-realistic 3D parts. To do this, it employs 500,000 colors to mimic the texture and gradient of the 3D models.
The J750 printer can produce prototypes in full color and in various materials in a single step. Therefore, it eliminates the need for assembly of multi-material parts which is required in traditional manufacturing processes.
“Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing, with its rubber-like Agilus material and colorful, smooth Vero material, has enabled us to create prototypes that mimic the final part in no time at all, speeding up our prototype development for the EASY!Force trigger gun significantly,” commented Sanzenbacher.
Furthermore, on the software side, the J750 is supported by GrabCAD Print and its addon GrabCAD Voxel Print, which can be used to control the printer head at the level of voxel.
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Featured image shows Kärcher’s EASY!Force cleaning gun. Image via Kärcher.