Hearing Aids : Stereolithography manufacturing system for shells to be displayed at international acoustician conference
3D Systems introduced a new stereolithography (SLA) system for manufacturing. Developed by working closely with leading hearing aid manufacturers and suppliers, the comprehensive platform addresses manufacturing requirements from product planning to end-use production of hearing aid shells.
The new dual-vat hearing aid shells manufacturing system offers a variety of customer-enhanced innovations, including fast and convenient vat change over, integrated hearing aid software and process improvements that provide superior part quality and exceptional throughput.
The unique dual-vat design allows customers to produce two different color hearing aid shells simultaneously to accelerate production. By consolidating builds and eliminating batching delays customers experience faster part production and scheduling flexibility with shorter production batch cycles. The increased throughput and manufacturing flexibility results in optimized production of hearing aid shells and lower cost per part. Fast and easy vat change over is achieved through quick-release elevator arms which eliminate the need to clean system components between vat changes. The new material handling cart allows a single person to hoist, drain and filter vats, and to transfer and change vats in minutes.
The Viper HA SLA system is optimized for use with Dreve Fototec SL materials and is tightly integrated with 3Shape A/S hearing aid manufacturing software to automate the data flow process. Integrated into the "Print Manager" of 3Shape, the software simplifies part preparation and build setup, resulting in reduced operator labor and cost.
"In addition to the Viper HA SLA system being the first stereolithography manufacturing system, it is also the first dual-vat system, allowing customers to build with two different materials at the same time," said Abe Reichental, 3D Systems' president and chief executive officer. "Working closely with industry leaders in the field of hearing aid materials and software, resulted in a first-ever integrated turnkey manufacturing system for direct manufacturing of hearing aid shells. The performance, speed and shell quality of the Viper HA SLA system was optimized using the Dreve Fototec SL materials. With the added functionality of the Viper HA SLA system, customers are able to produce in multiple colors, and increase their productivity by building a full set of hearing aid shells in one build, instead of two. Not only is this ideal for large production facilities but also those manufacturers producing smaller production lots.
"The Viper HA SLA system represents our continued commitment to pursuing direct manufacturing solutions," continued Reichental. "Harnessing leading planning and scheduling software from another recognized leader, 3Shape, provides our customers with an integrated manufacturing solution that simplifies their process and increases their productivity, and is yet another step towards improving our customer's bottom line," concluded Reichental.
3D Systems plans to begin shipments of its new Viper HA SLA system in December of this year.
3D Systems provides solid imaging products and systems solutions that reduce the time and cost of designing products and facilitate direct and indirect manufacturing. Its systems create physical objects from digital input that can be used in design communication, prototyping, and as functional end-use parts.
Dreve Otoplastik develops and provides quality products for hearing aid dispensers and the hearing aid industry like ear impression silicones, lab units, hygiene products, and light-curing resins.
3Shape develops and markets 3D scanners and 3D CAD/CAM software to create, process, analyze, and manage high-quality 3D data.
|October 20, 2004||© Yenra ®|