Protopro – 3D printed final parts for air scrubbers

Case Study

//Protopro – 3D printed final parts for air scrubbers
Protopro – 3D printed final parts for air scrubbers2018-12-07T15:38:28+00:00

Using Ultimaker 3D Printer to speed up the R&D process, achieving savings of 95% in cost & time

Cost of prototyping the first iterations was too much, £400 apart, and was taking over a week per part to be created. After buying 3 iterations at £400, Brian decided it was time for another solution.

Download the Full Story as a PDF
brian eaglestone

“It has made huge benefits to us, we are able to change designs far quicker and cheaper than we could without the benefits of a 3D printer. Making changes to a design are now no longer a massive headache, think-it, design-it, draw-it and then 3D-print-it.”

Brian Eaglestone, Director of Protopro Ltd

Protopro Logo

Protopro Ltd – Introduction

Protopro Ltd, was started as a company to enable us to obtain a very small grant, towards funding some research into an innovative new ‘Carpet Vacuum Cleaner’ design. We tried using subcontractors for various parts we needed making for our prototypes but were very disappointed with the components we received.

We also found dealing with so many different companies a real pain as none of them could do more than one part of the prototype puzzle. There were companies that were capable of ‘Doing Everything’ but they were well out of our financial budget range.
In 2012/13 we took the plunge to purchase our first 3D printer and have not looked back since.
Year on year and with each new project, we are slowly expanding our range of in-house facilities.
We are now in a position to offer a comprehensive product and system design service to all local and nationwide businesses/clients and innovators. In December of 2016 we moved into our new business workshops and office in the ‘Maryport Business Centre’, in Maryport, Cumbria.

Challenge

Previously, Cost of prototyping the first iterations was too much, £400 a part, and was taking over a week per part to be created. After buying 3 iterations at £400, Brain decided it was time for another solution since this was way too much time and money being wasted.

Printing

Solution

Brian bought two Ultimaker 2 3D printers so parts could be created, iterated and designed all in the same day with huge saving in cost and time. He then added his covers to the printers to keep the heat in and improve the quality. However, Brian also noticed there was oil residue building up because of his covers so he needed to make a scrubber to clean the air and remove residue build up.

Results

Brian has saved him self 95%+ of the cost per iteration of his parts. His parts where once costing him £400 to be produced, but since using Ultimaker he has managed to reduced that £19 which included cost of electricity and materials, Time wise he was able to saved 86% of his time due to reliability and ease of 3D Printing which took his production time from 168 hours down to 24 hours which includes design, prototyping and printing. He could also create as many types of the same part to see which worked best and optimised it.

UM3 Units

Cost and Time Saved using 3D Printing

Instead of having to pay £400 and 1 week for every design cycle, new parts cant be printed for £19 and with in under 24 hours giving HUGE savings to Brian and Protopro.

External suppliers

Ultimaker 3D printers

Time/part 1 weeks Time/part 1 day
Cost/part* £400 Cost/part* £19
Feasibility tests/days 7 Feasibility tests/hours 24
Brian has saved himself 95%+ of the cost per iteration of his parts. His parts where once costing him £400 to be produced, but since using Ultimaker he has managed to reduce that £19 which included cost of electricity and materials, Time wise he was able to save 86% of his time due to reliability and ease of 3D Printing which took his production time from 168 hours down to 24 hours which includes design, prototyping and printing. He could also create as many types of the same part to see which worked best and optimised it.

Talk to an Expert

We’re here to answer your questions

Implementing a new technology can be a painful experience, slowing down your core business and not returning results immediately.  Let our team take your headaches away, our knowledge of integrating 3D printing into different industries and applications is second to none. We’d love to hear about your project and help you find the right solution.

Call one of our friendly team and find out how 3D printing can revolutionise your business.

0800 7720 257

Phone
Email
Chat

3D Printing Applications in Product Design

Functional Prototyping

The smartest and most cost effective way to design.  3D printing has revolutionised prototyping decreasing the time of production to hours and the costs of prototypes to fractions.

Read More

Parts Production

Removing the costs of tooling for small-volume, highly accurate, customised parts is now a possibility with 3D printing. A world of materials and finishes that rival injection moulding…

Read More

Concept Models

The future is now. Designing and producing concept models can take a matter of hours, at minimal costs and with and almost Labour-free experience. 3DGBIRE’s foundations are in…

Read More

Moulds & Castings

3D printing patterns and molds is a highly accurate method that doesn’t have the associated costs of traditional mould making. Investment casting, injection molding and production parts are…

Read More

Tooling

Machining tools, jigs or fixtures in metal is a thing of the past. Cost, weight and storage problems are something you live with or you just cope without that part. 3D printing gives you the freedom…

Read More

Manufacturing

Whether to test the market or to allow your customers into the design process earlier 3D printing allows a quicker, cost saving method of delivering a beautifully crafted product.

Read More