United Equipment Accessories is always looking for ways to better produce our products, especially when it comes to producing specialized and custom parts for our slip ring customers. While 3D printing isn’t new to us, UEA has recently started to investigate the possibilities that 3D printing can bring to creating custom slip ring parts. 3D printed parts can help save money for the customer because UEA does not have to purchase custom-dimensioned material for specialized parts.
3D printing uses additive manufacturing (combining material), as opposed to subtractive manufacturing (taking material away) to make a component. 3D printing helps to reduce machine programming and set up time for custom, one-off parts since a 3D CAD model is sent directly to the printer to be printed. The printer creates a physical object based on the 3D CAD model by melting filament and laying down very thin layers per the 3D model profile and dimension requirements. A wide variety of new filaments are now on the market to meet temperature specifications needed for slip rings.
UEA currently has one printer but is looking to purchase additional printers to add to its fleet. As we bring new printers on, these will be added as work centers in our resource planning system. We will easily be able to route custom one-off parts to printers as they become available. Our current printer will be used to prototype new custom parts before they go into production.
We are excited about the possibilities of additive manufacturing and 3D printing and hope that the new technology will allow us to grow and expand our slip ring designs.
Want to learn more about how UEA is adding 3D printing to its manufacturing processes? Read this past blog- Adding Value with New 3D Printing Technology.