The rapid prototyping service provider, 3-Dimensional Services, found its "dream machine" for prototype production and small-series component manufacturing in the TruLaser Cell 5030. As a test customer, the company from Detroit, USA was closely involved in the development of the new TRUMPF 3D laser cutting machine from the beginning. Working together with TRUMPF, it was able to implement many of the requirements for the machine over the course of the partnership, which spanned more than two years.
In regards to a new laser cutting machine, the 3-Dimensional Services Group knew exactly what it wanted: a high-performing, compact system offering great value for money for the company. A system able to keep up with the large high-end machines in terms of technology, and which impresses with good handling. This being said, speed was not to be overlooked – because in prototype and small-series manufacturing, new manufacturing orders constantly need to be set up. Parts need to be provided to the customer for testing very quickly, and are then optimised together. The laser processing system must therefore be extremely efficient and flexible. It must also be possible to carry out maintenance and repair work as quickly as possible, in order to prevent long machine idle states. In short: a machine for prototype production was required, which works almost as fast as premium production machines, while at the same time meeting 3-Dimensional Services' desired price range.
3-Dimensional Services has wanted to work together with TRUMPF since the company's establishment 30 years ago. However, for a long time TRUMPF's universal machines had been too expensive and too comprehensive in their capabilities for the young company's purposes. About two years ago TRUMPF approached the managing board of the 3-Dimensional Services Group, asking, "what would your 'dream machine' look like and what would it need to be able to do?" Over the next 24 months, TRUMPF and the rapid manufacturing service provider worked in close cooperation to develop the TruLaser Cell 5030. According to the company boss, Alan Peterson, a great deal more than just their own requirements had been fulfilled. The TruTops Cell offline programming system allows for cutting on the machine to be carried out continuously, and jobs to be switched very quickly. The cutting speed is four to five times faster, allowing 3-Dimensional Services to optimally fulfil the requirements of their own customers. The main reason for this is the laser beam of the solid-state laser, which in TRUMPF's machines, moves over the stationary workpiece quickly and efficiently. The TruLaser Cell 5030's very fast door mechanism was also regarded as a "unique feature" by the Detroit company. This allows operators to load and unload the machine quickly