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Rapid prototyping expert chooses Renishaw AM system to streamline processes

28th March 2023

Prototyping bureau, Innovative 3D Manufacturing, has chosen Renishaw for its metal additive manufacturing (AM) production and rapid prototyping services. Innovative 3D Manufacturing employs two quad laser Renishaw RenAM 500Q systems along with four single laser Renishaw systems at its facility in Franklin, IN, USA.

Since 2016, Innovative 3D Manufacturing has provided rapid prototyping, production and additive consulting services for manufacturers in a variety of industries ranging from aerospace and defense to medical since they are dual quality certified as AS9100 and ISO13485. By using AM, Innovative 3D Manufacturing can develop components that would be difficult to produce using conventional methods alone, such as CNC machining. Multiple components can also be combined into one using additive manufacturing, reducing material used and the weight of the final part, along with a much faster delivery time.

“Traditionally, manufacturers used foundries and machine shops to develop new parts, but as those have become less common, manufacturers are turning to additive manufacturing for prototyping,” explained Chris Beck, Operations Manager and Owner of Innovative 3D Manufacturing. “In the early days of AM prototyping, companies simply printed the parts the manufacturer required, removed them from the plate and delivered them. However, a part also requires a variety of finishing processes such as removing support structures, heat treatment, and achieving the required surface finish before it meets geometric dimensioning and tolerancing specifications, as well as part print callouts and notes.”

Therefore, Innovative 3D Manufacturing recognised that to remain competitive in a growing rapid prototyping market it had to find the technology that would deliver high quality parts to a customer's deadline. They also noticed that as well as prototyping, customers were beginning to ask for parts for production applications. As a result, Innovative 3D Manufacturing wanted to invest in the latest AM systems.

“Innovative 3D Manufacturing were already familiar with other Renishaw products, such as our market-leading metrology products, and were interested to learn about our AM expertise,” explained Keith Brady, Regional Sales Manager at Renishaw Inc. “After trying the system and understanding the benefits, as well as seeing the support we offered, they decided to work with us and subsequently invested in multiple Renishaw AM systems.”

Most recently, Innovative 3D Manufacturing have purchased two RenAM 500Q multi-laser systems. “The platform size of the system, combined with the four lasers, means our team can complete more jobs” explained Beck. “The on-board sieving capability has helped us improve operations. We are very diligent with cleaning because we don't want a dirty system to lead to downtime and missed deadlines. The sieving and recycling system enables us to recycle powder and clean out systems quickly, making the process of preparing a system between prints much smoother.”

By installing the Renishaw systems, Innovative 3D Manufacturing can maintain its reputation for delivering high quality parts and meet the deadlines of customers in a range of sectors. The on-board sieving and four laser system is also suited to production as well as prototyping, enabling Innovative 3D Manufacturing to take on more projects.

“Renishaw is more of a partner than a seller, as its team regularly checks in with ours and offers great support and training, both in person and over the phone. The system controls mean we can troubleshoot if any issues occur, but if we have a problem our team can't solve, Renishaw is quick to send out an in-country engineer or deliver parts so that we're back up and running quickly. Any system downtime could lead to us missing deadlines, so the quick and helpful response from Renishaw has been appreciated. In return we've happily referred business to Renishaw and printed prototypes for them,” concluded Beck.

For further information on Renishaw's additive manufacturing systems, visit /am


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