With PARTBOX, Schubert Additive Solutions had already created a digital platform from which customers could call up certified print jobs in their own production and produce 3D parts themselves using a standard filament printer. Now this process has become even more reliable and quality-driven, as the company has developed an entirely new 3D printer for its customers.
Printing 3D parts for the packaging process in-house offers manufacturers many advantages: ideally adapted robotic tools for all conceivable products, greatly reduced environmentally damaging and lengthy transport of new format parts, quick replacement in the event of defective tools and the possibility of simply producing new format sets for changed products themselves. “We believe that components should be produced when and where they are needed,” explains Conrad Zanzinger, CTO at Schubert Additive Solutions. The objective is to ensure 3D printing of technical components at the customer’s site in a reliable, safe and high-quality process. To implement this, the Schubert subsidiary decided to develop its own 3D printer to meet these requirements.
Consistently high print quality
It was important to the developers to design a very simple solution that could be used by anyone without much previous know-how. “By doing so, we are making the advantages of additive manufacturing accessible to everyone,” adds Conrad Zanzinger. The new PARTBOX printer delivers consistently high print quality, which significantly improves process reliability within the packaging machines and therefore efficiency in the packaging process for customers. The print head is positioned precisely through the use of high-precision components such as a milled aluminium frame, ball screws and a unique guiding technique. Schubert ensures the exact dosage of the filament by means of an extruder with direct extrusion. A ‘hood’ over the unit eliminates environmental influences such as heat or dirt.
Perfectly matched plastic material
Moreover, Schubert Additive Solutions supplies the right printing material in the form of PARTBOX Black plastic. The difference versus commercially available filaments lies in a polyamide optimised for the FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) printing process. The material is food-grade and detectable with a metal detector. PARTBOX Black also features excellent mechanical properties and high temperature resistance. This allows very smooth surfaces to be achieved in the printing process. Hardware, software and material are therefore perfectly aligned. The new printer is easily connected to the Internet via the LTE standard. As an additional highlight to this overall package, the new 3D printer was also developed by the Ottenwälder und Ottenwälder design agency. Their collaboration with Schubert in product design spans many years and yet again ran very smoothly this time, as Conrad Zanzinger confirms: “We are very pleased with the result!”
With its own streaming platform and printer, Schubert’s PARTBOX is now a complete system that enables manufacturers to produce components directly in their own operations – with the fastest possible availability. The digital process saves customers processing, shipping and warehousing costs. Delivery of the new printer will begin in April 2022 after the Anuga trade fair.