The Vladimirsky Center for Glassware and Containers Uses the ProJet to Develop and Manufacture Glass Containers
"The ProJet 660Pro has allowed us to raise the bar on precision to a new height. The costs of its purchase were quickly recouped, thanks to the cost reductions it provides in product development and the emergence of new capabilities." - Ilona Kuzmina, Manager, The Vladimirsky Center for Glassware and Containers
The Vladimirsky Center for Glassware and Containers is a relatively young and very dynamic company that provides the full cycle of development and manufacturing of glass containers, from a sketch and computer model to the mold and finished glass bottle.
Meeting Customer Demand
Like other companies working in this industry, the company used to make their models for glass bottles by hand. Specialists used plaster, wood or Plexiglas if precision in a prototype was critical. This modeling technique was very time consuming at a time when the growing volume and urgency of customer orders required a shift to more efficient methods.
After studying existing technologies, management decided to purchase a 3D printer, a special type of equipment for making molds, which reduces the time required to create a physical 3D model to one or two days.
The Vladimirsky Center for Glassware and Containers is a relatively young and very dynamic company that provides the full cycle of development and manufacturing of glass containers, from a sketch and computer model to the mold and finished glass bottle. They chose a ProJet® 660Pro, which prints in a wide range of colors, as well as a more deeply saturated black. The decisive factor was that the build chamber of the ProJet 660Pro is the largest of any comparable system. The bottles produced by the Vladimirsky Center for Glassware and Containers are as tall as 35 cm, and it would have been impossible to make a bottle prototype of that size on other printers.
The ProJet 660Pro uses inkjet 3D printing technology, which builds the model in very thin layers. Each layer of the prototype is solidified with a special binder.
The raw material is a high-performance composite resin powder. The printer software divides the computer model into layers 0.1 mm thick, and then the actual printing process begins. The lifting platform, which forms the bottom panel of the chamber, is raised and its surface is covered with a thin and even layer of build material. The print head, similar to the print head on a document inkjet printer, applies a special adhesive binder to the parts of the surface that are to form the bottom layer of the product. The liquid solidifies immediately, gluing the powder in the precise locations. Then the bottom platform lowers slightly, a new layer of powder is spread on top of the previous layer, and the process continues. As it is being formed, the prototype is constantly surrounded by powder which provides support to the individual parts of the prototype. This is important because the printer can print objects with very fine details. All of the unused build material is automatically removed from the chamber and recycled for subsequent use.
Almost any model created in a 3D CAD program can be 3D printed, including those that are geometrically complex. The ProJet is also able to print multiple models simultaneously, which significantly reduces the development time for finished products.
An Irreplaceable Colleague
The new ProJet 660Pro has allowed Vladimirsky to raise the bar to a new height of precision and, at the same time, reduce the cost of developing new products. With innovative 3D printing technology, the Vladimirsky Center for Glassware and Containers can fully meet the needs of its customers in developing glass bottle designs.
Vladimirsky has also expanded the range of its products and its applications for 3D printing. Now the company not only creates an exact model of the bottle, they can cork the physical models, apply labels, and customers use these models to adjust and regulate the filling line.
The cost of purchasing the printer was quickly recouped, thanks to the reduced time required for the manufacture of the models and the emergence of new capabilities for the company. "With the ProJet 660Pro, we are able to produce prototypes for even the most unusual ideas in literally a matter of days," said Ilona Kuzmina, manager of the Vladimirsky Center for Glassware and Containers.