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3D Printing in Preventive Maintenance Strategy

Additive technologies are among the most dynamically developing ones in the world. No wonder their use can bring very specific benefits to the companies that use them. “Inżynieria & Utrzymania Ruchu” magazine presents the possibilities of these technologies and the areas of their application, with particular emphasis on maintenance. On this occasion, an interview with Konrad Kowalski – Technical Department Manager at VERASHAPE, was conducted by Anna Witkowska from Trade Media International.

How can 3D Printers be used in maintenance department?
Many of our customers use 3D Printers for the production of unusual spare parts, especially when they are no longer available, the cost of purchasing is too high, or the lead time for parts used in the production line is too long. The use of 3D Printing technology reduces production downtime and is more often becoming the element of a preventive maintenance strategy.

Which other areas of 3D Printing use are worth mentioning?

3D Printing used for prototyping is now often chosen as an alternative for conventional technologies of tool and equipment manufacturing. In the era of precise 3D Printers and wide range of available materials Rapid Tooling plays an important role in dynamically developing companies. When enhancing production processes companies strive to shorten the lead time and accelerate the test phase. To achieve these goals producers implement 3D Printing technology in the mold production process.

You offer a few 3D Printing machines. Could you briefly describe them to me? What distinguishes them from other machines on the market?

Most of our printers are industrial machines used by large production companies. They are successfully used in automotive, foundry, aerospace, medicine, and research institutes. They are highly appreciated in prototyping, tooling, small-lot production as well as R&D. I’d like to mention the VSHAPER PRO, one of world’s very few PEEK printing machines, able to heat up to 450°C. It is a modern industrial machine designed to create 3D Prints with enhanced mechanical and thermal endurance. Prints created in VSHAPER PRO, often used as alternatives to elements made of metal, lead or even titanium, are widely popular in automotive and aerospace industries.

Which VSHAPER printers, if any, can be particularly useful in maintenance?

3D Printers that we offer are industrial machines tested in production processes of many enterprises. It is the needs of enterprises and the requirements for the material used, that are the basis for the selection of just the right machine. Companies interested in creating industrial prints from PLA, ABS or PMMA will choose VSHAPER 270 or 450 in the case of large-scale elements. When it comes to companies that want to create elements with increased durability, I’d recommend the already discussed VSHAPER PRO. I should also mention the 5-Axis 3D Printing Machine, created with the support of the National Center for Research and Development, which will change the way people think about 3D Printing and will be used not only in maintenance, but in all production processes.

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Verashape A producer of 3D VSHAPER industrial printers, characterized by patented technological solutions. Mostly valued in automotive, foundry, aerospace and medical industry as well as the production of injection molds, research institutes, higher education and design. Customers worldwide are interested in the printers, especially Germany, USA, Italy and Korea. Apart from the models on standard offer Verashape also provides custom made printers. Currently Verashape team is working on a project called ‘Globally innovative additive printer’ subsidized by The National Centre for Research and Development 2014-2020 creating a new model of 3D printer. The aim of the project is to enhance FFF (fused filament fabrication) printing technology.