The legendary Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years. This year, January 6-9, CES hosted over 3,600 companies across 2.4 million square feet in Las Vegas.
Many of the custom accessories on the Ladybird were prototyped and tested with 3D printed parts from Stratasys
Upon entering the Stratasys booth, visitors were immersed in a world where top-tier consumer electronics companies delivered their products to market faster and at a lower cost using 3D printing. One display that was a real stand-out was the Ladybird motorcycle fromKlockWerks. This custom Triumph Thunderbird was equipped with several durable FDM 3D printed parts to test for form, fit and function. The saddle bags were 3D printed and mounted on the bike as functional prototypes. The windshield was 3D printed and used for testing wind effects before final production. The bike also featured custom rings around the speakers and a phone mount prototype that connects to the handle bars, all 3D printed to test design iterations and fit before final production.
“If it wasn’t for Stratasys and their 3D printing technology, this Ladybird motorcycle would not be a reality,” said Brian Klock, president of Klock Werks. “3D printing gives companies like us the ability to work with large motorcycle OEMs and create customer parts and electronics that we would not have been able to do any other way.”
Olloclip, a Stratasys customer and manufacturer of camera lenses for mobile devices, uses PolyJet 3D printing technology to create functional prototypes for testing new products. Their latest device, a kit called Studio, combines an all-new protective iPhone case with an integrated mounting solution and a series of mobile photography accessories. Attendees also got a glimpse of olloclip’s 4-in-1 Lens which incorporates fisheye, wide-angle and macro level camera lenses.
The VIE SHAIR headphones are the world’s first “open air” headphones, which used both MakerBot and Stratasys 3D printing technologies for prototyping and fuctional testing
Stratasys was also excited to share the newly announced VIE SHAIR headphones, the world’s first full “open air” smart headphones. Due to complex design geometries and a small window for development, the creators of the VIE SHAIR used both MakerBot and Stratasys 3D Printers for real-time rapid prototyping. After the form and fit check using 3D printed prototypes, the designer made 30 sets of production parts based on 3D printed molds using the same digital design data without issue.
Also present in the Stratasys booth was the MakerBot team showing off the Fifth Generation MakerBot Replicator, the Replicator Z18, and the new Smart Extruder+.
Formula SAE is a student design competition organized by SAE International (previously known as the Society of Automotive Engineers). The competition was started in 1978 and involves student teams from around the world. Each team designs, builds, tests and races a small-scale formula style racing car. The cars are then judged on a number of criteria such as design, fuel economy, acceleration, endurance etc.
For this year’s competition, Patrick Harder, a 4th year student of Automotive Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin used a mix of Stratasys FDM® and PolyJet® 3D printing technologies to design a new airbox for this year’s competition which pits their car against about 500 other competing teams.
What we see here is a working model of what the Stratasys-Objet merger is all about: 2 complementary 3D printing technologies used together to create a hybrid functional prototype – that then becomes part of the final car.
The airbox, or air intake chamber plays a critical role in an engine’s performance. A well-designed airbox will draw air more efficiently and effectively into the engine and thus improve performance.
Close up view of the air intake chamber showing its position on the car and the different Stratasys FDM and PolyJet 3D printing materials used in the prototype.
Stratasys ULTEM 9085 material (the gold colored thermoplastic material created on the FDM-based Fortus 3D Printer ) was used for the parts of the airbox where high temperature resistance (over 120°C/240°F) and vibration resistance are required. The ULTEM material was used for the manifolds, velocity stack (the trumpet shaped device that lets the air in to the engine) and throttle body bottom and top.
Meanwhile, the Digital ABS material (created in the PolyJet-based Objet Connex multi-material 3D Printer) was used for the plenum chamber – where the airbox requires a combination of toughness, unique geometry and high surface finish. This is where the airflow and air fuel mixing occurs.
And in addition, the team also used the PolyJet VeroClear transparent material to create the small oval windows we see on the sides of the airbox. This helps the team monitor the fuel mixture rate in the cylinders and ensure that excess fuel does not build up and get trapped in the intake manifold.
The individual 3D printed parts before construction. Includes FDM ULTEM 9085, PolyJet Digital ABS and VeroClear transparent materials.
Many thanks to Patrick for the photos and video and to our very own Hannes Kalz, of the Stratasys Leader Benchmark Center in Germany who brought us this story.
We wish Patrick all success in his upcoming competitions! Go team Stratasys!