How 3D Printing Changed Prototyping at Axon

By Samantha Bild on

When Axon Corporation initially decided to purchase a Stratasys Objet Eden260V, they believed it would be used mostly for production tooling. Today, 3D printing has infiltrated their workflow and provides an array of solutions for their engineering team.

Intended Use vs. Actual Use: How 3D Printing Changed Axon
Earlier this year, we connected with Ken Nyren, Engineering Manager at Axon Corporation. We wanted to check in on their Stratasys Eden260V purchase and see how it has impacted their operations. 
Axon manufactures sleeve labeling systems that support the packaging industry. Their technology impacts many industries, from beverage and bottled water companies to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
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Initially, the primary application for their 3D printer purchase was to develop “pucks” faster. Pucks are used to provide lift and stability to products during the labeling and sleeve processes.

Before using a 3D printer, developing a new puck was a complex process. First, Axon designed the puck using SOLIDWORKS and made enhancements or modifications as needed. Next, they used traditional manufacturing methods to machine and assemble the puck. Once machined, the engineering team began testing the puck’s design and dimensions, modifying the model accordingly and then repeated the process again until correctly-designed pucks could be ordered from a supplier. The puck production timeline covered four to six weeks of an eight-week build cycle.
Upon implementation of 3D printing into the design workflow, Axon consolidated puck production into one to two design and test days. 
“Our process with the Eden 260V printer is to design, print and test in the morning, refine, print and test in the afternoon, refine again if required and then print overnight. This way, we are ready to test and order production pucks the next day.”
Axon’s customers are impressed with how they maximize their 3D printing capabilities. By reducing lead times on complex jobs by as much as 40%, Axon gets products into their customers’ hands sooner than their competition, leading to better market share.

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