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Consumer and Luxury Goods Case Studies

One of the principle uses of Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D Printing, parts in the consumer goods industry is to produce prototypes and models.  Ultimately, models and prototypes can help companies get their products to market quicker, meaning they profit from a competitive advantage over those that move more slowly.

The range of uses that the models are put to is extensive.  For example, our customers use models to undertake market research – both with consumers and buyers.  Because AM parts can be made quickly and easily direct from CAD data, they are used for repetitive testing on complete products and component parts.  They are also used to test fit, form and function.

3T has also built multiple sets of parts for consumer goods manufacturers which are used when the production line is being built and set up.  Having the components to run down the production line enables the customer to build and test the line efficiently before going into full production.

Models can be painted and fully finished then used for a range of marketing needs, such as photography for boxes, in advance of production run products becoming available.

When selling a product – whether to the buyer of a major retailer or to an investor to gain funding – something that the buyer or investor can touch and experience delivers a much stronger message than a drawing.  Our products are used as selling tools and have appeared (successfully!) on Dragons’ Den on a number of occasions.

As well as working with manufacturers we also work with a large number of consultant product designers – a group who were amongst the first to see the benefits and adopt Additive Manufacturing processes to test their designs.  Additive Manufacturing gives designer rapid prototypes which can go through any number of iterations to reach the optimal design.

Having the ability to produce production quality parts without investing in expensive injection moulds is one of Additive Manufacturing’s key advantages.

  • FANUC Robotics - vision engineering solution

    FANUC Robotics – vision engineering solution

    FANUC Robotics, one of the world’s leading companies in factory automation, has integrated cameras onto its robotic arms. This “vision engineering system” effectively enables a robot to see an object’s location, orientation, measurement and identity giving the robot the flexibility to handle items of different shapes and size at the same time. On a fast moving production line the expensive camera can be vulnerable to damage. FANUC came to 3T looking for a housing that offered good protection whilst retaining quick access to the camera.

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  • Steri-Spray - prototype appears on Dragons' Den

    Steri-Spray – prototype appears on Dragons’ Den

    Having obtained funding from BBC Two's Dragon's Den, Ian Helmore asked 3T to produce over 20 individual components that make up his SteriSpray shower system including inserts, tubes, back plates, covers, connectors and the shower rose itself. The specialist team at 3T then expertly finished and painted the parts, making them look like the final manufactured product ...

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  • Stewart Golf - functional model and quality finish

    Stewart Golf – functional model and quality finish

    Stewart Golf design, develop and manufacture luxury powered golf caddies and is proud to lead the industry through continued product development, innovation and engineering. Their products are built to the highest standards, use the most advanced technology and enjoy a distinctive, individual character.

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  • VR Technology - better finished production parts

    VR Technology – better finished production parts

    VR Technology is the world’s most innovative diving technology company. It makes diving equipment such as dive computers and underwater breathing equipment and has a world-wide market and reputation.

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  • Charnwood Dynamics - low volume, many iterations

    Charnwood Dynamics – low volume, many iterations

    Codamotion, the world leader in real-time movement analysis, wanted to manufacture ‘marker clusters’ in relatively small volumes and to have the ability to change designs quickly as new requirements dictated. The material utilised needed to be lightweight and robust as well as be able to be handled many times without deterioration of finish.

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  • Freedom Of Creation - bespoke and low volume

    Freedom Of Creation – bespoke and low volume

    3T RPD work with many UK and European designers and architects, and has developed a close working relationship with Freedom Of Creation in The Netherlands. Having recently won a commission from Dutch design company Wetzels Brown Partners, Freedom Of Creation co-developed the creation of 23 unique chairs for a 100ft. sailing yacht and private residence. The innovative design of the chair was inspired by Freedom Of Creation's Janne Kyttanen's Macedonia tray, which was created in 2007 for The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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