From prototyping to mass production
In order to minimize the development time for new products, Geberit International AG manufactures many prototypes using 3D printing. Since 2016, the Swiss company uses a Sintratec S1 for design optimization and material testing in its prototyping laboratory.
The Geberit Group, the market leader for sanitary parts in Europe, operates 29 production plants in over 50 countries. Before the Group releases a new product for market launch, it must meet a variety of requirements. At the Group headquarters in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland, all prototypes are tested for quality, functionality, design and ease of assembly. Development engineers from various departments benefit from the modern prototyping laboratory. It allows them to implement their ideas within a short time.Before mass production (e.g. injection moulding), each component undergoes several design variants. A considerable number of professional devices are available in Geberit’s prototyping laboratory with a wide range of 3D printing processes. A total of around 16,000 parts are printed each year – by SLS, FDM, SLA, 3DP or MJF.
Special solutions for confined spaces
Instantly available functional prototypes
3D printing has largely replaced conventional methods
That SLS systems like the Sintratec S1 create competitive advantages is also confirmed by Roger Baggenstos, who had only little development time available for this project: “We appreciate the fast implementation possibilities of test components. With the printed prototype in hand, we can immediately evaluate its function together with our production partner.”
With the durable Sintratec PA12, Geberit prints objects such as water housings, distributors or test specimens that can withstand water pressure up to 48 bar. Geberit uses the flexible Sintratec TPE material for seals on illustrative models, sound insulation parts (for the decoupling of water noise) or thermal insulation parts. In order to satisfy the developmental curiosity of engineers and laboratory personnel, tests with foreign materials are also carried out with the Sintratec S1 Hugo Arnold comments: ”For such research applications, we evaluate ten to twenty parameters per day.”