Nexa3D works with many companies to help them improve their products and get them from design to finished faster. One of these companies is FLYER, a producer of several styles of e-bikes, which is based in Switzerland. Their goal was to maintain their growth and keep up with the demand for e-bikes.
E-Bikes in Europe
In many areas throughout Europe, cars are not the most efficient method of transportation, resulting in increased usage of trains and subways, bicycles, scooters, and e-bikes. FLYER provides several types of e-bikes. These options include those with a lower frame that allow a step-through for mounting the bike, e-bikes for riding in the city, and even a mountain bike version for those who go off the city streets and try the trails. With such a wide variety of options, there is an e-bike for practically everyone, and they can provide a safe and affordable method of transportation.
FLYER faced the challenges of keeping up with the growing demand while maintaining a supply of the e-bikes that customers needed promptly. Again, it was challenging to maintain the required production speeds to keep up with the growing demand. Although their expanding popularity benefited their business, it became a challenge for the production branch.
Using 3D printed parts allowed them to create their bikes faster. The technology also helped them design new e-bike versions and get them to the market quicker than traditional manufacturing. This helped them stay competitive by creating customized products that were unmatched in the market. While 3D printers were already being used to create prototypes and develop new products, FLYER determined that they needed to produce more of these items faster. They also wanted to improve the finish on their molds so they could be used for end products besides creating prototypes.
After consulting with a distributor like ELK3D, they determined that the NXE400 would be the best fit for their company and selected a black resin for the printing material. This allowed them to print more parts. In addition to printing prototypes and design trials, they could also print ready-made parts that could be installed on their trial runs of finished bikes. The ability to produce prototypes and trial runs is essential in helping FLYER work out the bugs in their products.
What the NXE400 Did for Them
By adding this printer to their pre-existing manufacturing lineup, they were able to see measurable results in their production times and costs. The time spent on both production and design dropped by 48%, providing leaps in the number of tasks they could complete within a month or even a week. The increased efficiency allowed them to get their products to market much faster than they were capable of doing in the past.
The resulting products were accurate to the design provided, and the finish was smooth and often ready to use. Better prints meant less time spent correcting mistakes or finishing the printed components. This allowed for an overall faster completion of tasks, while helping to simplify the remaining phases of development.
By allowing for faster beta testing with the printed parts for the bikes, it is quicker to make any changes needed, and they can test the function and balance of the bikes before shipping them. This procedural step ensures no significant losses occur during the manufacturing stage and that products can get to market faster.
In a trial run of one of their common printer parts, the NXE400 provided them with a fully printed part comparable to their end-use product in a few minutes. In contrast, this usually takes them hours to produce with their desktop printers. They were given a piece that demonstrated the advantages of the new printers and specifically highlighted the capabilities of the NXE400.
One outstanding benefit is the ability to get a new product or an upgrade of a product to the market before their competitors release similar new products. Being first to market gives a leg up over competitors and will often gain brand loyalty from consumers for being at the forefront of technology and products.
Other advantages of switching to the new printer included spending less time on finishing items, which increases the speed with which items are finished. The company also saves money on the labor required to finish and print each product. By cutting labor costs, the company can increase their profit margin and earn more on each sale. Alternatively, they can drop their selling price to increase sales in other areas of the market.
FLYER has been able to streamline many aspects of their production and design procedures thanks to this more efficient printer. Plus, the easy-to-use software that allows a queue of jobs to form will also allow them to enter designs and set up the machine faster. Less downtime saves money and helps the company increase its productivity.
The company has found that the use of different materials is beneficial in many ways. The number of items and parts to print is practically limitless. A less expensive material can be used for items that are first-run prototypes with a higher-quality material used for the final prototypes and for creating a cost structure. It is also possible to ensure that each job gets the most effective material for its use and final products are better suited to their primary purpose than inferior alternatives.