Wuling, an established and automotive brand in China (part of a joint venture with GM), worked with Hema Fresh, a popular retail brand of the technology giant Alibaba, to celebrate and market a new flavor of Zongzi, a traditional Chinese rice dish made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves. At a recent event in Shanghai, on the occasion of the Dragon Boat Festival, 3D printed mascots of Mr. Hema and Wuling drove a Hongguang MINIEV, loaded with snail powder Zongzi. The new flavor introduced, based on snails noodle, had undergone extensive research and development.
Wuling and Hema are both well-known brands in China and have strict requirements for the quality of their brand mascots. Chinese 3D printer manufacturer UnionTech produced the 3D printed mascot using two industrial-grade SLA 3D printing systems, the RSPro 2100 and RSPro 1400, in order to address the challenges of large-scale printing in curved surface modeling. Along with extensive experience in data processing, the company leveraged meticulous post-processing technology solves the difficulty of surface color restoration. The final printed mascot model showed low shrinkage, optimal texture, and three-dimensional surface details, which were all praised by both Wuling and Hema representatives.
Since the event is held outdoors, the 3D printed mascots also needed to adapt to different weather conditions. For this project, UnionTech used the UF-H series of high-temperature resistant materials to cope with the drastic changes in the weather. Furthermore, UnionTech’s post-treatment spray paint engineers used more than a dozen outdoor paint colors and hand-painting techniques, which not only enhanced the weather resistance but also made the mascot look even more realistic.
The RSPro 2100 and RSPro 1400 3D printers are both large-format SLA systems. The RSPro 2100 can print parts up to 2100 mm x 700 mm x 800 mm in size. The three-laser scanning system is suited for industrial production of large, high-quality finished parts as well as mass part production of multiple smaller parts.
For this project in particular, UnionTech leverages its own Unionfab platform, a 3D printing cloud manufacturing SAAS platform, which outsources 3D printing factory capabilities offering intelligent upgrading quickly and affordably with functions such as auto BP & batch remote print, data-aided systems, intelligent production scheduling, digital management of equipment and data analysis. UnionTech engineers estimated that using traditional manufacturing techniques to produce the same mascots, would require up to 30 days while Unionfab was able to produce it in just 7 days.