3D printing offers Aptar employees around the globe an opportunity to bring otherwise two-dimensional product designs into the physical world. This printing technique allows product designers and customers to evaluate product concepts and make faster adjustments than with steel molds. Check out the video and Q&A section below with Product Design Engineer, Sean Cho of Aptar Cary, for an in-depth look at 3D printing and how Aptar is using this technology to bring innovations to life.
3D Printing Q&A with Sean Cho – Product Design Engineer, Aptar Cary
- What is 3D printing?
- 3D printing is a process in which an object is created using an additive technique. In a more traditional method such as machining, where a solid block of material is slowly worked down until the final geometry is achieved, 3D printing only uses the material that is necessary to create the final part.
- Why is it beneficial to the company?
- Aptar utilizes 3D printing to help the Engineering team develop new products and concepts before committing to steel molds. The game-changer was bringing 3D printing in-house. This move has allowed Aptar to develop new concepts quicker and in higher numbers than ever before at a fraction of the cost to outside vendors.
- How do you use 3D printing as a Product Design Engineer?
- In the past, we chose which products to prototype using limited consumer data and virtual models. Today, we can 3D print several concepts simultaneously and evaluate them in a physical, tangible form and narrow down our selections based on real consumer testing. Changes can be made and reprinted in hours without having to deal with cost and timing of mold changes or waiting for open press time.
- How can we use 3D printing to benefit the customer and drive sales?
- With high quality 3D printing in-house, Aptar demonstrates speed and agility by offering our customers not only ergonomic models of early concepts, but photo ready or fully functional prototypes depending on their needs
- What are the future possibilities for 3D printing?
- An exciting development in 3D printing is in the area of injection molding. We are developing methods in which we can 3D print mold cavity and cores in order to create custom, low volume prototypes in weeks rather than months. Additionally, we can create custom inserts for our existing tools to deliver unique branding to our customers in days rather than weeks.