Testing, Clinical Trials, End-use Products
The Fortus 400 at Mack Prototype has one of the largest build envelopes (14″ x 16″ x 14″ in resolutions between .005″ and .013″ thick layers) available through a custom manufacturer in the New England region, according to President Ric Perry. With multiple material options, Mack Prototype can print parts in either ABS 30i (ISO 10993 biocompatible material) or PC-ABS. “This versatility allows us to make parts that can not only be used in testing and clinical trials, but can actually function as end-use products,” says Perry.
FDM parts can also be suitable for low-volume applications, where it is sometimes more cost-effective to print individual parts rather than build a tool and mold parts.
The second FDM machine at Mack’s headquarters plant is smaller (8″ x 8″ x 10″ build envelope in .010″ thick layers) and used primarily for orthopedic applications.
“We use it to perform design verification and ensure snap-fit parts are functional,” says Randy Pell, senior staff design engineer. Using flow simulation software, Mack engineers can predict part warpage, print the part in the warped condition, and realistically prove or disprove a design.
“We also use it to set up quality processes, such as part measurement,” adds Pell. “For example, many of the components used in orthopedic surgery can look identical, while actually differing in size by just a few millimeters. With FDM, we can print right-sized fixtures that will ensure each component is measured correctly.”
Contact: Ric Perry, President, Mack Prototype, Inc.
Randy Pell, Senior Staff Design Engineer