John Calhoun is Director of Business Development at Nexa3D, an innovative 3D printer manufacturer, which has some of the fastest 3D printers in the world, both for resin materials and SLS powder bed fusion.
“We develop solutions for open platform materials that allow our customers to continue to drive new applications, and solve problems for their manufacturing or other engineering processes,” he explains.
Calhoun’s role is to work with Nexa3D’s product team on engineering and marketing. He’s responsible for developing strategy and materials to enable the company to gain market share in the powder bed fusion space of additive manufacturing.
Here, he tells Manufacturing Digital about the supply chain benefits of 3D printing and how it can make the manufacturing processes less wasteful and more profitable.
Hi John! Tell us how you were able to help JawsTec improve their productivity and minimise their environmental impact.
“JawsTec is a manufacturing service provider and a user of powder-based additive technologies that historically had significant waste byproducts. This is the result of using nylon powders to print their products which required significant refresh rates, above actual print density or utilisation. This process generated a significant amount of waste powder that was disposed of at cost. What our technology allowed them to do was to take that ‘waste product’, and reuse it in our ‘zero-waste’ SLS printers, generating parts that were of the same quality as the fresh powder being used on their other platforms. We took a waste stream and essentially turned it into a productivity stream. That allowed them to completely eliminate SLS powder waste while doubling their output. The technology enabled shorter additive manufacturing cycles to deliver high-quality parts in just 10 hours instead of 24 hours while using 100% of the SLS powder. JawsTec also reached a return on investment in under 90 days for four of our QLS powder bed platforms.”
How is Nexa3D making their manufacturing processes less wasteful and more profitable with 3D printing?
“We have solved the issue of the high cost of additive manufacturing due to a significant waste stream of used powder. We've been able to eliminate this waste by getting customers into a zero waste solution for additive manufacturing that has significantly changed their bottom line.”
Can you tell us about 3D printing’s advantages in managing supply chain interruptions and unexpected market shifts?
“With additive manufacturing, you have the advantage of digital inventory. You’re not manufacturing large quantities of goods and warehousing them. You can do just-in-time manufacturing for larger assemblies and manufacturing of goods by producing products on-demand through additive manufacturing processes, such as powder, bed fusion, or photopolymer resin-based systems.
“We've been able to do that also with a complementary solution of having the fastest 3D printing technologies available. The combination of speed, material sets and throughput allow our customers to really embrace additive manufacturing and speed up their processes without having to create large inventories of parts.”
Anything else to add?
“What we're doing at Nexa3D is important - not just for us but for the entire additive manufacturing space. We’re enabling customers to utilise 100% of the product they buy for manufacturing. That’s absolutely crucial for sustainability, and furthers the development of the technology across all additive manufacturing platforms.”
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