3D Printing Allows Rapid Development, Lower Cost, Just-In-Time Inventory
We recently launched a variant product primarily due to 3D printing
BPM Microsystems manufactures device programmers (like copiers for microchips). Our mid-sized automated programmer, the 3910, can be configured with up to 4 of our programming sites, each of which can program up to 4 devices concurrently. The housing for the sites is a fabricated metal “cage”, which doesn’t allow for any custom configuration.
Enter the 3D printer…
Our engineering and production teams experimented with 3D printing individual site chassis. They were able to rapidly iterate different prototypes (rapid as in overnight compared to 5-8 weeks); final pieces were printed in carbon fiber filament.
“I’m moving BPM’s manufacturing and rapid prototyping into 3D printing because it’s so fast and flexible,” says Jon Bondurant, Vice President of Operations at BPM. “The reduced turnaround times allow for fast iteration of continuous improvement cycles. 3D printing creates very little waste and uses recyclable materials making it a sustainable approach for replacing wasteful traditional manufacturing processes.”
3D printing enabled an existing platform to increase possible sites from 4 to 7 (a 75% increase in capacity) while reducing the cost of the site chassis from hundreds of dollars to a little over $10 in materials. Site chassis no longer need to be ordered in advance or pulled from existing inventory; they can be printed on-demand when the order comes in. We are looking into expanding into other areas, such as sockets and other parts that we previously machined on our CNC.
To see the 3928 go to bpmmicro.com/3928-