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Using Production 3D Printing To Produce Obsolete Parts

Production 3D printing offers the opportunity to not just recreate and refurbish old products, but improve upon them.

There are literally thousands of plastic products that are no longer manufactured. The trouble is that they are often part of something that is still used. It could be the AC knob on a 1980's Ford pickup truck. The plastic wheel from a collectible car. Or the cover to a piece of dental equipment. Using production 3D printing, replacement parts for these obsolete products can be created affordably and reliably, to make them better than ever and rebuild inventories.

Redesigned cover for a piece of dental equiptment.

In 2018 we were approached by a client refurbishing dental equipment. The cases of the machines were no longer manufactured. So they were having to salvage from old machines, or sell machines with slightly damaged cases. This hurt the margins of the product and was a constant irritation. On top of it, the covers were outdated in appearance. The orange peel texture and beige color looked like what they were, something from the 90's, which they were. But our team took the cover and went to work. Our Engineers and 3D modelers took the base dimensions from the original cover, and then started the redesign. The result was a fully updated cover that could be 3D printed in our large format production printers, and looked modern. The client now has a reliable supply chain of top quality replacement parts for the machine. And they look better than the originals.

How to create a 3D printed supply chain of obsolete parts

Most obsolete parts do not have 3D models available. Most do not even have detailed drawings. So they must be recreated from scratch. While this is a hassle, it is very valuable, because it allows our engineers to optimize the design for 3D printing so the resulting production parts are as good as the original. In order to start the process simply take a photo of the part and submit it through our quoting form. One of our team members will evaluate the part and get back to you within 1-2 business days with a plan for producing the part. They will then provide a quote for the design of the 3D model of the part and production of whatever quantity required. Once the quote has been created the part will need to be delivered to Slant 3D. When the piece arrives it will be either 3D scanned or reverse engineered and modified. Once that is complete it is ready for production at whatever volumes necessary, be it 10 or 1000 Slant 3D has manufactured 3D printed copies of obsolete parts for everyone from the auto industry to the toy industry. There is no one who knows better how to bring your part into the 3D printing manufacturing world.

A 3D printed Shift Knob by Forecast 3D

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