TRICAS has various 3D printers available in-house for the production of our own 3D printed prototypes.
Occasionally, when we need specialized materials or properties, we rely on the expertise and equipment of partners in our network. A good example of this is a recent project for which, next to solid printed parts, flexible printed parts were needed for reliably functioning prototypes.
TRICAS was asked to develop an extension for a spray applicator that will be used to apply a highly potent medical substance to a specific target area of the human skin, namely the axilla or armpit. Because the axilla has a complex geometry for a cone shaped extension to closely fit, a flexible material was needed that is not only robust but also has a pleasant feel. Since the prototypes would be used in clinical trials, only a small number of parts were needed.
We selected our partner Oceanz (www.oceanz.eu) to produce these flexible parts for their ability to produce parts through Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) in a TPU material. The resulting prototypes are of the right flexibility and they have the right feel. The parts are of such robustness that, after an initial small number of parts, a series of 70 pieces has been produced through this process and in this material.