Velan Inc., a Canadian company and a world leader in the design and production of industrial valves, faced the following challenge: to develop a valve prototype with the same components as the real version while being lighter.
Velan Inc. naturally turned to 3D printing as the technology perfectly meets their needs.
The current valve is made from cut metal, which makes it less functional, less elegant and difficult to transport. Velan inc. wanted a light-weight prototype which was easier to take to trade shows.
This exhibition model also had to accurately recreate and showcase all the components of the original part. This was done by incorporating a beautiful range of colors that matched the customer's standard colors.
Finally, every possible effort had to be made to ensure that the prototype was robust and had a smooth surface.
To meet the customer's needs, our team of experts selected a 3D printing solution that produces models that are both accurate and robust with the finish of an exhibition model.
The total cost of the project was also an important factor.
FDM technology, which is used for low-volume part production, was one option that was considered. However, this technology does not allow for the production of accurate models and finish options are limited.
Stereolithography (SLA) was, therefore, the best choice for this project as it has two major advantages that were important for Velan: lead time and accuracy.
When it came to choosing the material, a mixture of resins allowed the different components of the valve’s 3D prototype to be highlighted by various colors.
In addition, photopolymers give SLA printed parts a smooth surface and fine details. This material can also be cut more accurately compared to the actual metallic model which was perfectly in line with the objectives and challenges of this collaboration.
As SLA offers several finish and post-processing options, we opted for the one that aligned with the requirements of this project, i.e. an exhibition model with a smooth finish that recreated accurately all the details of the original model.
In order to create such a prototype, it was necessary to choose a higher level of finish.
With its premium sanding, primer coating and automotive quality paint, the Showroom Level finish was the best choice for this project.
Since the valve had several components, we aimed to show them in different colors. This was made possible by the wide selection of colors we offer at Axis, which allows us to adapt to the client's vision and meet their needs.
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