Recreus' PET-G filament helps its Product Department to provide a solution for the new PP·3D 'primer' container by manufacturing a fully adapted 3d printed end-use part
- Company: Recreus.
- Sector: Industrial.
- Material: PET-G filament.
- Mission: Design and fabrication of brush coupling piece.
Manufacturing through 3D printing, together with our PET-G filament, has allowed our company Recreus to re-design the container packaging for the PP·3D polypropylene filament 'primer', allowing us to create an ad-hoc and customized solution that is difficult to find in the market. Let's take a closer look at this practical success story in which a problem has been solved, in addition to the cost and time savings for the company.
“For the replacement of the new container, we needed a model with very specific characteristics that we could not find on the market. In addition, we wanted the cap to incorporate a brush applicator and it was not profitable to buy a huge print run. As it was impossible to find something like this, the most efficient option was to manufacture it ourselves.”
Mª Ángeles Pérez, COO of Recreus
Non-existent container in the market
At Recreus we set out to replace the 'primer' container, which goes along with our PP·3D polypropylene filament, with a much more optimal solution that meets a number of requirements:
- Glass or plastic container to guarantee watertightness.
- Solvent resistant.
- Size and shape capable of fitting into the spool hole: capacity for about 30ml and with maximum dimensions of 50mm in height and 50mm in diameter.
- Incorporating a brush for easy application.
In our search we realize that it is impossible to have a container that meets each and every one of the requirements and none of the alternative packaging options fit us. The containers that incorporate the wide brush applicator brush are for formats with a capacity equal to or greater than 125 ml and, therefore, too large. Containers with a capacity of 30-40 ml and with the measurements we need are not manufactured with an applicator brush or the brush is too thin.
Metal container with brush applicator, which is to be replaced by a new more optimal design
Manufacture and 3d print the end-use part to obtain the container we need
At this point, and after evaluating all the budgets and alternatives analyzed, the best solution is to purchase several components separately and manufacture the missing part with 3D printing. That is why we acquired the glass containers, which fit us in terms of capacity and measures, and the brushes.
The next step is to design and print a coupling to fit the brushes to the lid of the container.
It is clear that our PET-G filament is the ideal material to print these couplings for the brushes. Among other reasons, because it is a material with:
- High chemical resistance.
- High impact resistance and some flexibility, perfect for developing press-fit materials.
- Ideal for technical and industrial parts.
The steps to assemble the new container are as follows:
RECREUS WHITE PET-G PRINTED COUPLING PIECE
COUPLING PIECE TO WHICH THE BRUSH IS ATTACHED
WE GLUE THE COUPLING PIECE WITH THE INCORPORATED BRUSH TO THE BASE OF THE CONTAINER LID
LID ALREADY ASSEMBLED WITH APPLICATOR THAT WE HAVE MANUFACTURED, TOGETHER WITH THE PRINTED PART AND THE GLASS CONTAINER
A customized container that meets all of our needs using our PET-G filament
Finally, by printing this coupling part with our PET-G filament, we were able to design a container model that meets all our requirements and at the same time delivers:
- Space saving
- Packaging optimization
The container now fits into the central hole of the PP·3D polypropylene spools to occupy less space in the packaging, optimizing the space and volume of the product and protecting it more. The following video shows in detail how the packaging is configured:
Evaluate the 3D printing manufacturing of the entire container
The current global supply crisis has affected all sectors and when placing an order for a part we are finding the lack of such material and the delay in delivery. That is why the next challenge we face is to be able to eliminate dependence on a third party and design and manufacture our own packaging internally with 3D printing technology. A topic that we are going to evaluate.
The advantages we would gain would be considerable:
- Eliminate uncertainty of material supply from a third party or due to unfavorable market conditions
- Eliminate dependence on a third party
- Shorten lead times and waiting times
- 100% adaptation of the packaging design to our needs
- Stock reduction. Controlled manufacturing and under our own demand in smaller quantities
- Cost savings
“At this moment, in the midst of a supply crisis, we are encountering delays and problems in the reception and shortage of certain parts, specifically the glass containers. Our next challenge to consider would be to design and print the entire container. This will eliminate our dependence on an external supplier and save us the problems of deadlines, costs and material deliveries. We will be able to be more efficient and act quickly with the 'problem, solution' matrix thanks to 3D printing."
Mª Ángeles Pérez, COO of Recreus
What is PET-G filament?
- PET-G filament is one of the most popular filaments for FDM printing. It is a combination of PET or polyethylene terephthalate, the material from which plastic bottles are made, enhanced with glycol (hence the letter G after PET). This element is added to the composition of the material during polymerization resulting in a filament that is clearer, less brittle and easier to use than its PET-based form.
- It has significant chemical and heat resistance, more so than PLA.
- It is a thermoplastic polyester, which means that it can be deformed by heat unlike a thermosetting plastic, which cannot be deformed and will burn.
- In addition, it has good durability and formability (compared to other plastics). It has a high layer adhesion.
- It also has some flexibility, making it suitable for applications requiring impact resistance and press-fit components.
- It is food safe, odorless and non-toxic.
- It is also a highly hygroscopic material, so if kept in humid places it can become brittle.
- It is an excellent filament choice for printing objects that need to be tough, have a smooth surface and less shrinkage. ABS, the most coveted filament for durable 3D prints is much more difficult to print, so PET-G proves to be the most suitable.
- It provides the strength of ABS with even more flexibility and an easy printing experience like PLA.