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Cost-effective, customized functional prototypes - 2 Pages

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Catalogue excerpts

Cost-effective, customized functional prototypes "Compared to the traditional aluminum fingers that which were very costly and took about 5 weeks for each iteration, the 3D printed designs cost almost nothing and took about an hour to create. Sometimes, I don't even need tooling; and can use the 3D print as an end-use part." — Guillaume Pradels, YuMi Product Manager at ABB Robotics Company ABB Robotics Industry Industrial automation Challenge Reduce design validation times and rapid prototype robot parts without exceeding budget. Test iterations to establish the best fit for the final part. Solution Use 3D printing to prototype and test multiple design concepts in-house at minimal cost. Results • Reduced prototyping and production times • Increased iterations • Reduced costs • Increased flexibility ABB Robotics - Introduction ABB Robotics is a global leader in power and automation technologies, developing industrial robots for use within the automotive, electronics and manufacturing industry. Improving productivity while minimizing environmental impact is a top priority; and innovation is a key driver in their business model. As a result, prototyping plays a vital role in their production process. 3D printing enables the company to make assembly tools and R&D aids that greatly improve efficiency. This couldn't be achieved otherwise, due to the prohibitively high costs and extended timelines associated with traditional methods. Using 3D printed prototypes, ABB Robotics can test out different iterations of the same model, comparing them side by side until they establish the best fit and appearance for the final manufactured part. This saves considerable time and money throughout all processes - from initial design to final production. The reliability and ease of the process allows 3D printing to take place while the team works on other tasks.

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Challenge YuMi is a collaborative industrial robot dedicated to small parts assembly. It is designed to grab, pick and place parts, and perform insertions. Depending on the part, YuMi utilizes different finger shapes that require multiple prototypes to perfect. Previously, prototype finger design was carried out in-house and the prototypes were manufactured externally. This process required considerable time and money (one month waiting for parts and approximately €1,800 for four parts), so Guillaume started searching for an alternative approach. At that time, the team was using traditional metal...

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