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3-Dimensional Services Group

www.3dimensional.com

The 3-Dimensional Services Group develops and manufactures functional prototype parts including low to medium volume production, up to 70% faster than the industry standard. The family company founded in 1992 is based in Rochester Hills, a suburb of Detroit, and works predominately for customers in the automotive industry; its service provision covers practically all production processes in sheet metal forming, cutting and welding to casting technology and plastic injection molding.

Number of employees

450

Industry

Rapid Prototyping

Company seat

Detroit, USA

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TRUMPF machine park (Selection)
  • 4 x TruLaser Cell 5030
  • 2 x TruLaser Cell 7040 fiber
  • 2 x TruLaser 2030
  • 2 x TruLaser 2030 fiber
  • 3 x TruDisk 4001
  • 1 x TruDisk 6602
  • 1 x TruDisk 8002
  • 1 x TruFiber 400

Efficiency and speed: the winning combination of TruLaser Cell 5030 for prototype construction and small series production

The rapid prototyping service provider 3-Dimensional Services has discovered its "dream machine" in the TruLaser Cell 5030 for prototype construction and small series parts manufacturing. As a test customer, the company from Detroit, USA, has been closely involved in the development of the new TRUMPF 3D laser cutting system from the very beginning and has been able to put many of the machine's demands into practice along with TRUMPF during a two-year cooperation period.

The challenge
The 3-Dimensional Services Group knew exactly what they wanted in terms of a new laser cutting machine: a high-performance and compact installation offering an attractive price-performance ratio for the company. A winning machine with a technology that can keep up with the large high-end machines while also very easy to use. Speed was important - as in prototype and small series production, new production orders have to be constantly set up and aligned. Parts had to be made available to the customer very quickly for testing, with improvements subsequently implemented together. Therefore, the laser machining system had to be extremely efficient and flexible. In addition, it had to be possible to do maintenance and repair work as quickly as possible to prevent prolonged machine down times. In summary: a machine was needed for prototype construction which worked almost as fast as a premium production machine but at the price level requested by 3-Dimensional Services.

Solutions
3-Dimensional Services has wanted to work with TRUMPF since the company was founded 30 years ago. But for a long time, the all-purpose machines made by TRUMPF were too costly and had extensive capacities exceeding the requirements of the young company. Around two years ago, TRUMPF approached the management of 3-Dimensional Services with the question, "What would your 'dream machine' look like and what would it need to be able to do?" Within the next 24 months, TRUMPF and the rapid manufacturing service provider worked closely together to develop the TruLaser Cell 5030. Company president Alan Peterson stated that not only were all the requirements listed satisfied - but much more as well. Thanks to the offline programming software TruTops Cell, the machine can be put to constant use for cutting and jobs can be changed very quickly. The cutting speed has increased 4- to 5-fold, so that 3-Dimensional Services can now satisfy their own customers' requirements in the best way possible. The main reason for this is the laser beam of the solid state laser, which in TRUMPF machines moves quickly and efficiently over the stationary workpiece. In addition, the company from Detroit called the very rapid door mechanism a "unique feature" of the TruLaser Cell 5030. This makes it possible for the operators to quickly load and unload the machine.

"Why did we enter into a partnership with TRUMPF? Because it's like working with another big family. Everyone listens to each other's needs and then producing a product that we can go forward with."

Mike Baranowski
Quality Director 3-Dimensional Services Group

Implementation
TRUMPF invited Alan Peterson to Ditzingen in Germany several times. While there, the company president could see for himself how the TruLaser Cell 5030 was designed, constructed and tested, step by step. Peterson says that the TRUMPF developers were always very open to any comments and suggestions throughout the whole process and were very thankful for valuable customer feedback. Even a suggestion for the position of the lifting lugs to make it easier to transport the machine into the production hall was taken into consideration during the implementation. Installation of an early beta system at 3-Dimensional Services turned out to be quick and uncomplicated. There were basically no down times. Peterson said that the machine was shut down for a short period of time only when a TRUMPF representative visited to provide an update with the latest developments. The business leader is also excited about the intuitive machine control system which makes it significantly easier to train new employees.

Looking forward
According to Peterson, with the TruLaser Cell 5030 TRUMPF has introduced a machine for job shops, tool shops and smaller production facilities, a machine which is 30% more compact than a full-blown production system and yet meets 95% of the demands of a job shop with small to mid-range batch sizes. This makes the TruLaser Cell 5030 a flexible, cost-efficient "win-win machine", and 3-Dimensional Services believes it will guarantee a bright future for TRUMPF. The company based in Detroit has already placed an order for three further machines. The goal remains clear: to get parts to the customer as quickly as possible so that they have enough time to test the quality and functionality of the components, to undertake any design modifications and to manufacture the optimized part in a large-scale production along with 3-Dimensional Services as quickly as possible.

"With the TruLaser Cell 5030 TRUMPF is gonna have a very bright future."

Alan Peterson
President of 3-Dimensional Services Group

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