TRANSFORMATION OF LOW-VOLUME INJECTION MOLDING
Core3Di is the world’s first dedicated Freeform Start-up. Headquartered in Szczecin, Poland, Core 3DI solves complex customer problems for world-class clients using Freeform Injection Molding.
Freeform Injection Molding (FIM) brings the low start-up costs and short lead-times of additive manufacturing to injection molding, to meet a universal need for faster and cheaper tooling
FIM is uniquely suited for applications where only injection-molded materials can do the job, and where volumes are normally too small to justify investments in tooling
FIM allows service bureaus to deliver highly value-added services to an entirely new group of customers, who cannot use traditional additive manufacturing due to material constraints
Core3Di is on an ambitious journey. As the world’s first fully dedicated Freeform Manufacturer, they have made it their business to solve seemingly impossible jobs for world-class international customers. And customers are increasingly becoming aware of the unique skills of the Polish start-up. According to Project Manager Jakub Myslinsky, a typical customer dialogue might run as follows:
Customer: “Hi Jakub. Got your contact info from a company called AddiFab, and thought I’d give you a call. I have this small and complex component, which our customer insists must be made from glass-filled PPS. He claims that he spent the last 10 years validating this material, and that it’s the only thing that works”.
Jakub: “Sounds exciting. We have pretty good experience with PPS, and if parts are not too big, we should have no problems. How many do you need?”
Customer: “Problem is: he wants only 20. We’d normally never even consider this kind of order, but he is one of our oldest customers. I thought 3D-printing might do the job, but apparently none of the 3D-printers we normally us can manage the PPS. And AddiFab pointed me towards you”
Jakub: “As long as the part can be injection-molded, we should be able to manage. Could you send me the drawings so that our engineers can have a look?”
The challenge voiced by this imaginary customer is shared by most companies in the manufacturing industry. Most of their products are based on injection molding, and the good ones run in volumes high enough to justify tooling investments. The bad ones don’t, but most are kept alive anyway, as tooling costs have already been written off. Once in a while a VIP customer requests a modification to one of the standard products, and most of the times requests are successfully deflected with reference to minimum order quantities, high tooling costs and infinite lead-times. But sometimes the customer persists. And this is where engineers start looking for new solutions, and Core 3DI receives another phone call.
The Core3Di team are fast becoming the go-to guys for low-volume injection molding, and ordered their first AddiFab printer in the spring of 2018. Already during their FIM training, they started taking on customer assignments, and they landed their first world-class customer shortly after completing installation of the printer. Sebastian Piorkowski, co-founder of Core 3DI, is enthusiastic about the perspectives: “I have worked with international supply chains for more than a decade, and long-tail problems are among the most persistent product management challenges I have seen. If FIM can deliver on its promise, Core 3DI may be able to offer – for the first time – a cost-efficient way to manage injection-molded low-runners”.