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Jun 25

Additive Manufacturing Reduces Design Time of Japanese Consumer Products

With increasing pressure to get products to market faster, more and more companies shake off the shackles of traditional manufacturing processes and move to additive manufacturing. Take the example of Japanese consumer products company IRIS Ohyama, launching over 1,000 new products each year, including gardening tools, health care products, pet care items, home and office furniture, and home appliances.

The pressure to constantly launch new products means that the company is always looking for faster ways to get products developed and into the stores. According to Hidekatsu Hara, R&D Manager of IRIS Ohyama:

Stratasys FDM and PolyJet-based 3D Printers enabled IRIS Ohyama to create a complex prototype of a cyclone vacuum cleaner head

The final IRIS Ohyama cyclone vacuum cleaner

“Fitting of parts for home appliances is crucial, allowing almost no clearance at all. The design validation process requires functional prototypes that are accurate, stable, and durable, all without compromising the look and feel of a product. We need to be able to correct design errors quickly to minimize time-to-market.”

IRIS Ohyama started using Stratasys 3D Printers in 2006, when it first entered the home appliance business and needed to create increasingly complex product designs (meaning more work for the engineers and tighter deadlines). The IRIS Ohyama design team chose an FDM-based Dimension 1200es 3D Printer from Stratasys for its ability to make durable, precise, functional prototypes with real thermoplastics.

Once it had seen the benefits of Stratasys’ FDM 3D printing technology, IRIS Ohyama’s team expanded its capabilities to include Stratasys’ PolyJet additive manufacturing technology, adding a more authentic look and feel to functional prototypes. The company chose the Objet30 and Objet30 Pro 3D Printers, which create detailed, smooth models in a wide range of material choices, including high-temperature tolerant, transparent, and rubber-like materials. As IRIS Ohyama discovered, together these two technologies enhance the company’s ability to speed up product design and create a highly iterative design process.

- Stratasys Blog

For additional real world applications of additive manufacturing and more, visit us at www.cimetrixsolutions.com.