MCE Metrology streamlines production with BCN3D 3D printing technology
The France-based company has sought to provide a more individualized experience to its customers, designing dimensional metrology machines that are fully customized to their needs. To truly provide the service with adaptability and versatility, MCE Metrology implemented a BCN3D Epsilon W27 FFF system and complementary smart cabinet earlier this year, indicating annualized cost savings of up to € 10,000 per year.
Claire Teulier, marketing manager at MCE Metrology, explains: “A large printing volume combined with the Independent Double Extruder (IDEX), allows us to respond to all types of requests, totally on demand. 3D printing gives us more creativity, responsiveness and the ability to test all prototypes quickly and efficiently.
Custom dimensional metrology
In the manufacturing world, dimensional metrology is crucial for part accuracy and quality control. Specialist in the field, MCE Metrology has been supplying measuring machines to its customers in Europe for more than 25 years. Beyond the systems themselves, the company also offers maintenance, training, service programming, consulting, etc.
During the process of delivery to the customer, MCE Metrology often offers several different metrology machines for the application in question, allowing the customer to choose the most suitable. So far, the company’s devices have been used in many industries such as automotive and healthcare.
Teulier adds: “After acceptance, we launch the product by means of prototyping for insurance. After validating that it is working to its full potential, we then proceed to work on the final product.
Until now, the development of MCE machines has involved exclusively traditional manufacturing processes. This made the prototyping phase extremely difficult, resulting in long lead times, high fixed manufacturing costs, and an inability to quickly iterate on part designs. The team needed a fast and reliable production process that could ideally be done in-house.
Rationalization of production with BCN3D
MCE Metrology’s R&D department eventually turned to BCN3D’s 3D printing technology due to its ease of use and high volume capabilities. Just like the entire BCN3D portfolio, Epsilon systems are IDEX FFF machines, which means two identical parts can be 3D printed at the same time to double the throughput. This is also facilitated by the generous build volume of the W27, which measures 420 x 300 x 220 mm.
In addition to saving up to € 10,000 per year, implementing the system has enabled MCE Metrology to reduce delivery times for its prototypes from an average of four weeks to just seven days.
In addition, the excellent dimensional accuracy of the W27 also means that the printed parts always meet specifications, and the end of filament sensor allows the production of large parts such as housings and fasteners without interruption. The 3D printing workflow has been made even more resilient with the addition of the Smart Cabinet, which provides uninterrupted power supply.
To date, MCE Metrology has experimented with PLA, PLA Tough, ABS, soluble materials and carbon fiber reinforced composites. The company also plans to work with flexible filaments such as TPU for the production of shock absorbing machine covers.
Similarly, the automaker Nissan has also recently started using BCN3D technology to strengthen its automotive production lines in Spain. The company used to outsource all of its tooling to third-party vendors, but now it 3D prints parts such as tools, jigs, fixtures and working prototypes at its factory in Barcelona.
Elsewhere, in the world of student races, BCN3D recently collaborated with Elisava Racing Team from Barcelona University School of Design and Engineering to 3D print end-use parts for an all-electric mountain rescue motorcycle. Called DAYNA, the bike is specially designed for harsh environments and features 19 3D printed parts.
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The image shown shows a structural frame component 3D printed on the W27. Photo via MCE Métrologie.