Nometal 3D is a company founded in Valencia in 2019, by Raúl Romeu and Manuel Bellver, two product designers with experience in different types of industries. By leveraging the SmartSlice plugin for Cura, Nometal 3D has been able to realize a 58.9% cost reduction in their prototyping process, projecting a savings of over $45,000 for the coming year.
Nometal 3D has a wide range of customers, including IKEA suppliers, window profile manufacturers, bicycle component manufacturers, shipbuilding companies, racing car teams, industrial maintenance, etc. They have been working mainly with Ultimaker 3D printers as they allow for more versatility in materials, easy use and great reliability.
The company has recently added SmartSlice to its workflow, with the vision to optimize its processes and provide better service. “SmartSlice is revolutionary, as it accelerates our development and prototyping processes. It also brings confidence to our customers, as it ensures the strength of the components we manufacture,” says Romeu.
The Challenge: Stronger Tooling for the Marine Industry
In this example, we will learn about Nometal 3D’s application case with one of its customers, Kent Potton, director of Dark Matter. Potton is an experienced racing yacht builder who often invents his own tools to improve his manufacturing efficiency and to overcome new obstacles as they arise. In this case, he developed a spiked roller that punches through layers of carbon fiber, perforating it before the part goes into the autoclave. These perforations create pathways to exhaust trapped air during curing, which improves layer consolidation and increases the strength of the cured part.
Potton enlisted the services of Nometal 3D to bring his prototype idea to life. The project went through several phases. Initial designs were printed in PLA, but those designs didn’t work. Therefore, other materials were tried until finally carbon-filled nylon was chosen.
During the first year, 100 units were produced and, despite choosing this stronger material, many of them ended up breaking while in use.
The Solution: Virtual Prototypes with SmartSlice
Sicnova, as a SmartSlice distributor for Spain and as a Nometal 3D technology provider, was able to learn firsthand about this problem and suggested the use of SmartSlice simulation software. Nometal 3D engineers used SmartSlice to quickly identify why the part was failing and to virtually experiment with different high-performance filaments. To do this, they simulated the stresses on the part with the material profiles of PA CF and PET CF from BASF Forward AM.
Thanks to SmartSlice, it was possible to achieve a final design in a short time, with new parts that take less time to print and do not break during use.
Raul Romeu sums it up: “Using SmartSlice is very simple. Once you know the loads that the part has, you adjust the software in a couple of minutes. Then, it offers you different manufacturing configurations with the convenience of a materials database included. Thanks to SmartSlice we have reduced launch times for parts and projects that used to take one or two weeks to manufacture and test, to a few hours. Recognizing significant savings in filament.”
The Result: Assured Return on Investment
Nometal 3D and Sicnova calculated the savings of this project. Following the usual method of working without SmartSlice, the total cost of developing and printing these parts would have been $2,061.
However, with SmartSlice, the cost was reduced to only $845. In other words, in a single project, a savings of up to $1,215 was saved. A 58.9% reduction compared to the normal cost.
The annual return on investment figures is even more striking if that’s possible. Nometal 3D carries out an average of 38 projects per year. If we extrapolate these savings figures, per project, over the whole year, we observe that SmartSlice saves the company $45,370.
Learn More About SmartSlice
SmartSlice™ is a Cura plug-in that empowers you to perform validation and optimization of print parameters based on end-use requirements. Use SmartSlice™ to automatically identify the best potential print profiles for your FFF parts to achieve superior performance and manufacturing efficiency, without the guesswork associated with traditional build-break qualification cycles.
SmartSlice is designed for everyone and features cloud-based optimization technology that is fast, intuitive, and accurate.
3D Universe is Proud to be a Certified Channel Partner of SmartSlice™
We regularly use SmartSlice here at 3D Universe, and we have certified experts ready to assist you. Our customers have been thrilled to learn about this tool, and it’s saving them lots of time and money. So if you’d like to have a conversation about it or see a demo, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
If you are interested in purchasing a license for SmartSlice – please visit our shop!