Additive manufacturing saves time & cost for ASSA ABLOY
ASSA ABLOY Group offers a complete range of access solutions to make people feel safe and secure in simple and convenient ways. ASSA ABLOY is present in more than 70 countries and has a market-leading position in areas such as mechanical and electromechanical locking, access control, identification technology, entrance automation, security doors, hotel security and mobile access. Recently, their engineers sought a new development process optimization for their customized opening solutions, and additive manufacturing proved to be the most suitable solution.
Using Henkel LOCTITE’s engineering resins on Asiga’s printing platform, ASSA ABLOY was able to realize significantly reduced lead times and costs.
ASSA ABLOY engineers were searching for new product development techniques to optimise the product development process for their custom opening solutions. Traditionally, their standard approach included injection moulding for prototyping, which incurs high costs and long lead times. Finding an alternative technology presented a challenge, as several critical application requirements needed to be met. These requirements include a tough material that offers long-term durability, could withstand 120,000 cycles and maintain an excellent surface finish.
ASSA ABLOY looked to additive manufacturing, starting with powder printing to print elements of their customized opening solutions but the parts from this process did not meet the minimum tolerancing and surface finish requirements.
After achieving little success ASSA ABLOY engineers reached out to Asiga Reseller Cotu, an experienced service bureau with experience in photopolymer 3D Printing for industrial segments. Cotu stayed with the additive manufacturing process but leveraged DLP technology to satisfy ASSA ABLOY’s accuracy and surface requirements.
“We were astonished how 3D printed samples from the right material can compete with injection molding parts.”
Jaroslav Papáček, R&D Mechanical Engineer, ASSA ABLOY
Cotu looked to Henkel Loctite 3D Printing materials that offer a diverse portfolio of engineering-grade resins for a variety of DLP platforms. Cotu determined that LOCTITE 3D 3843 HDT60 High Toughness Matte Black was the most suitable material to meet part requirements from Loctite’s extensive 3D printing materials portfolio. This is a semi-flexible resin with moderate temperature resistance HDT60, high impact strength, and versatility for a broad range of applications.
By using LOCTITE 3843 together with Asiga’s PRO 4K 3D printer, Cotu was able to 3D print these opening solutions that met all the part requirements. Asiga 3D printers provided a perfectly accurate output. By leveraging DLP technology from Asiga and materials from Henkel LOCTITE, Cotu delivered functional prototypes passing all required tests.
Cotu was able to print 500 parts in a single 15-minute print job to deliver parts within days. The 3D printed prototypes were so precise that they allowed for more mechanical tests in the early development stages, and this pre-testing significantly decreased final product test failure. The engineers from ASSA ABLOY were amazed by the depth of detail that 3D printing technology can deliver and the mechanical properties that the final end-use parts can achieve.
When the team embarked on this journey, they intended to simply 3D print prototypes, but now they are leveraging an Additive Manufacturing process to create end-use parts. The team at ASSA ABLOY was so satisfied with the technology that they have already discussed the integration of the technology into their future product development processes.
“It’s great how 3D printing can optimize both development and production process. You don’t need to pay for molds and other tools, you pay just for the products; no additional production tools are required,”
Martin Lesák, R&D Mechanical Engineer, ASSA ABLOY