BizLink, a leading provider of connectivity solutions worldwide, uses a method for creating physical prototypes with computer-aided design (CAD) data. This so called 'Rapid Prototyping' enables development times to be shortened, costs to be lowered and innovative ideas to be realised more quickly. BizLink's Automation & Drives business unit will showcase one of these solutions at the sps trade fair in Nuremberg, Southern Germany, which takes place from 14 to 16 November.
In the development and production of individual injection moulded parts, a large part of the cost and time is spent on providing the appropriate tools. That is why BizLink uses Rapid Prototyping for sample parts in the development phase of overmoulded connection components. The principal objective of this technology involves testing and validating design concepts, functionality and features before there is any investment in series production. Through Rapid Prototyping, BizLink thus reduces development costs and time-to-market for overmoulded components and its reinforced innovative cable systems for factory automation. Rapid Prototyping involves applying layer upon layer of materials or bonding them to one another with 3D printing to make the desired object. This makes it possible to quickly adapt the design as changes can easily be made in the CAD data and the prototype can then be reprinted. It also allows, for example, the spatial conditions during fitting and operation under real-life conditions to be assessed, letting the findings thereby acquired be incorporated in product improvement before a tool-maker has even started his or her job.
3D printing technology can furthermore make valuable contributions to quality assurance while development is ongoing. If, for instance, parts being tested must be scrutinised to limit failure mechanisms along functional boundaries, it helps to be able to quickly create a matching testing device for such investigations. In some cases, such devices also facilitate good reproducibility, meaning that dependable component qualifications can also be carried out in this way.
Other applications involve trialling numerous production resources and tools as well as handling aids that are, with respect to their function and ergonomics, initially tested as a 3D-printed specimen and improved repeatedly so that they can later be reproduced in a more robust version made of metal, for example.
Rapid prototyping is versatile and has long been a proven tool for BizLink in the innovation process to bring new products to market faster and more effectively. Visitors to sps can convince themselves of these advantages through application examples in the Nuremberg exhibition halls from November 14 to 16, 2023 in Hall 2, Stand 431.