Colson Caster Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of standard and custom application caster and wheel products, has implemented a unique 3D printing component in its manufacturing process that allows for almost immediate preliminary testing and engineering of a physical product sample. This capability enables the matching of form, fit, and function in a matter of hours from completion of the design concept. This process not only saves money but also facilitates a greatly speeded time-to-market for custom-designed Colson products.
“This new 3D printing process allows us the ability to quickly and easily create a working model for proof of fit, form, and function of a new design, without the time delay and cost of producing any tooling,” said Brian Crain, product manager for Colson. “This gives Colson the ability to react quickly to the design of custom products, and allows us to shorten the development and testing cycle for new products.”
The 3D printed models created at Colson are not just simple product components but engineered and working multi-component pieces such as caster and wheel assemblies complete with forks, bearing assemblies, and brake mechanisms. The production begins when a .STL file of the proposed product is created by Colson engineers, working with its customers, to define the needs of the new model. The printer reads, orients, and slices the file, creating a pathway through the production and disposition of a durable and working ABS (acrylnitrile butadiene styrene) plastic sample. The sturdy ABS material even affords initial testing opportunities for design tweaking and in-color element coding for product appearance reviews.
Product development opportunities using Colson’s 3D printing short-cut are available for use now for any requests where unique and specialized features and capabilities are needed. For more information on the new 3D product printing options, contact Colson’s development team at 800.643.5515 or visit www.colsoncaster.com.