For agile businesses, development time and time to market are critical when developing products. Prototyping and manufacture using injection molding can be expensive, rigid and slow when it comes to releasing product ranges; so naturally, it is better to start with solutions that are more adaptive and cost-effective.
Rotite® is an innovative low profile, high strength, polymer fastening technology used in a variety of applications and can be manufactured in polymers, metals and composites. It features a unique patented geometry that is logical and easy to use. Rotite can be integrated into many products and therefore manufactured in many ways but is unmatched when partnered with the design freedom of SLS.
Rotite Technologies integrates its process into other company’s products which saves them time, space, weight and ultimately cost. More recently, they have created their own brand—Spyn—designing and delivering their own end-use products for consumer use.
Low operating costs and reactivity of SLS 3D printing
As Rotite is an example of an agile business, development time and time-to-market are critical in developing their products. Furthermore, the cost of tooling to produce parts can be prohibitively expensive for their lean balance sheet.
By using additive manufacturing, Rotite can work efficiently to adapt and improve their range to suit customer needs before investing substantial capital in tooling for a static range of products.
During the proof-of-concept stage, Rotite initially had its designs manufactured by a 3D print service provider on an MJF machine. As the project developed, Rotite won government funding for innovation and directed the funds to purchase a Sinterit Lisa Pro. With the ability to print in-house, they can now manage the whole process internally: conception, design, development and production can take place in their own office space.
In-house production for better reactivity
“We were outsourcing to a service provider using an MJF machine,” says Connor Whyley, Design Manager, Rotite Technology. “We prefer SLS and we are really really pleased with the results. The final look of SLS is superior.”
As a lean operation, the ability to bring a product to market without investing in injection molding tooling has been critical to their success. Rotite is able to pivot on an idea, make changes to production and add a wider range of products with essentially no sunk costs on redundant tooling. Connor and his team are capable of introducing product improvements without the barrier of costs of new tooling.
“SLS acts as a bridge to injection molding, and lets us bring products to market sooner,” said Connor Whyley.
The professional quality and mechanical performance of Sinterit PA12 powder enables companies like Rotite to develop consumer products, without the high entry costs associated with injection molding. By purchasing a Lisa Pro, they positioned themselves in a price range that was fundable by innovation grants and was a key enabler to their agile business.
This article was created in collaboration with Sinterit.