Direct Digital Manufacturing : Direct to the Frontline

Finnovation Product Development - 3D Printing Tech-Blog

In the world of 3D printing I get to see a lot of innovative ideas and designs.  Additionally, I get to work with a lot of innovative people.  I would like to share a recent job experience with you,  the fine readers of Finnovation's 3D Printing Tech-Blog. But first let me give you a little background into why this job was unique.

black box biometricsBlackBox Biometrics is a business located in Rochester NY.  BlackBox Biometrics (aka B3) is dedicated to creating devices to help alert military and law enforcement personnel to dangerous exposure to concussive forces that can lead to Traumatic Brain Injury.  In other words, B3 helps protect and save quality of life for our troops!  I was very excited at the opportunity to be able to work with them on getting their design into the field for testing. B3 addressed a problem, designed a solution, and gets these solutions to the front line before the competition.

Specifically, this design will be carried by medics and is used in collecting the data from the Blast Gauge device.  This data will tell medics how much concussive force the soldier was exposed to.  

Working with the designers at B3, Finnovation Product Development was able to provide working prototypes to aid in the refinement of their design. 3D printing technology was used to create the design out of durable and impact resistant ABS plastic.  One particular design necessity, required a strong snap-fit feature that could be easily separated by field personnel and then snapped back together.  In the end, all design requirements were met, and parts were delivered for testing in less than 24 hours.  The prototype was accepted, and B3 moved into the next phase: short run manufacturing of this design.

As an alternative to tooling and injection molding, Finnovation Product Development was able to provide a short run manufacturing solution for less cost than injection molding. When 3D CAD files are used in conjunction with 3d Printers to produce end use parts it is called Direct Digital Manufacturing.  DDM is the perfect solution for creating short run parts without expensive tooling costs, all while giving the opportunity for design changes mid run without re-tooling.  In testing phases, DDM can save companies thousands on tooling and molding costs as parts are printed verbatim according to 3D CAD data.   Additionally, many industry standard thermoplastics are used in DDM, thus the parts perform like the injection molded counterpart.   Finnovation Product Development was proud to be able to fill this niche for B3.   I applaud their efforts in designing solutions to protect the lives of our brave soldiers.   For more information about BlackBox Biometrics B3 go to http://blastgauge.com

Stay tuned to Finnovation Product Development's 3D Printing Tech-Blog for more information about 3D printing and Direct Digital Manufacturing!