Isuzu Trucks Australia : 3D Printing for Additive Manufacturing
Greg Parker, Engineering Technician at Isuzu Trucks Australia recently got in touch to share his experience with 3D printing for additive manufacturing. “The company was keen to explore what value we could add to our operations with new and emerging technologies.”
In early 2021, they reached out to 3D Printers Online to help get them set them up. The following is Greg’s experience with us.
Isuzu Trucks (Isuzu Australia Limited) have been dabbling with 3D printers and the benefits of additive manufacturing for rapid prototyping for a bit over two years now. I fortunately had a personal interest from a hobby level prior to starting in my role as Engineering Technician in Isuzu’s Product Development Centre and the company was keen to explore what value we could add to our operations with new and emerging technologies.
Constant drive and internal desire to deliver better products as quickly as possible was hitting hurdles with changing supplier demands and capabilities. Sample prototype parts that would often take weeks and hundreds of dollars to source or fabricate were able to be 3D printed over night for a fraction of the price, enabling quicker design progression and proof of concept. Other parts cold be checked and approved prior to committing to further development. The ability to solve problems quickly has added to our research and testing capabilities; Be it printing a new mount for a camera or sensor in minutes or dimensionally accurate pieces, the time saving of internal solutions is immense. We have even printed a couple of low volume production parts where external supply was not cost effective or even available.
The world of 2020/21 with all the challenges of corona virus further highlighted the benefits of an established 3D printing capability; Suppliers who would previously visit in person could no longer travel but shared files and locally printed parts enabled us to continue development and better communicate design requirements. Simply holding a prototype part can change the outcome of a digital ‘zoom’ meeting.
In early 2021, having proven the business case for 3D printing, we agreed that we needed to expand our capabilities and equipment. We were often outgrowing the physical limitations of our old printer, most parts made for trucks are big and few entry level 3D printers can cope. After a considerable search and evaluation phase, we decided to purchase two new printers from 3dprintersonline.com.au. They were a local Australian supplier, with the capability to provide any support we may need. Stocking the printers, parts and consumables also makes life easy and efficient. After just a few quick emails to the team, we had a new Creality CR-5 Pro and Creality CR-10 Max on order!
Pretty much straight out of the box (a little assembly required), both were printing prototype parts and the occasional ‘test’ print for a bit of creative fun. They have delivered everything we hoped for and will be key design assets for years to come.
Thanks 3dprintersonline.com.au from the Engineering team at Isuzu Trucks.