Hong Kong-based AIC Technology, which specializes in providing 3D printing services for customers, is now able to achieve a higher profit margin from streamlining their production process after acquiring a Stratasys J826.
The trend among many people now is creating miniature figurines as momentous for themselves, for loved ones, or even pets. Instead of 2D photos, parents would order figurines of their children before they grow up.
A Wrong First Step
Their first foray into producing the figurines wasn’t particularly successful, as the high-end powder-based 3D printer that they used yielded many issues:
- Post-processing was laborious
- Printed surface was quite rough
- Figures were fragile and prone to breakage
- Quality wasn’t up to the mark with lack of detailing
- Color tone was almost always a bit off
- Print yield success rate was just 80%
- Printhead’s actual lifespan was only 1/3 as long as advertised
Mr. Jiang wanted to provide the best-in-class products to his customers at a reasonable price: if the customer had a yellow dog, he should not receive a figurine in orange.
After much frustration, Mr. Jiang decided to find a professional solution and was recommended the Stratasys J826, a PolyJet 3D Printer that was known for its high-speed, full-color, and easy processing.
Faithfulness is key to customized figurines, and every figurine looks hyperrealistic when printed with the J826. With its large tray size (255*252*200mm), the J826 was able to print multiple figurines in one print and was highly accurate when the figurine was within 10cm and below, with deviation from STL dimensions able to go as low as 0.1mm.
The PANTONE validation capability of the J826 also meant that the exact color (hair, skin, cloth, etc.) can be reproduced. This true-to-color means true-to-life. The high toughness and heat resistance of Stratasys photopolymers ensured that printed figurines were not only sturdy but can also simulate the soft touch of skin.
The J826 also simplified post-processing immensely as the soluble support material can be easily removed with high pressure or dissolved. Ultimately with the savings on post-processing, Mr. Jiang was able to reduce the cost of each produced figurine by 74%, which means a higher profit margin, or being able to sell them at an attractive price.
AIC has also polished their printing workflow which allows them to process orders quickly for customers. A typical workflow for them with the J826 looks like this now:
- Digital orders can be viewed within 1 – 3 minutes after a quick scan
- Files will be polished for around 15 – 30 minutes after order confirmation
- Printing time is dependant on figurine size. A 10cm tall figurine would take 3 hours on the J826.
- Post-processing requires 30 minutes.
- Customer will get their figurines within 2 days.
With the customized figurines market only set to go from strength to strength, AIC is looking to taking more orders and help preserve precious memories for its customers with the J826.