Walkman did it in the 80’s, 3D printing is doing it today. The battle of the ears is heating is up, and this market is showing no signs of cooling. Take Fujikon, an award-winning headphone manufacturer that’s currently on the wild ride of the headset and speaker market for mobile devices. In a market that’s getting more competitive by the day, innovation is a must. The Hong Kong-based Fujikon is no exception, as they are constantly exploring better noise-cancelling functionality, wireless connectivity and sound quality as well as innovating more attractive products and enabling faster time-to-market. In order to survive, these components are all core demands for any major market player.
In 2011 Fujikon had to take the next step forward; they realized that their 200-strong R&D team needed to adopt new practices and technologies in order to enable faster product development. 3D printing was at the top of the list. So in June of the same year, company executives asked a team to review, test and evaluate all the major 3D printing technologies.
Over 18 months, the team benchmarked multiple systems inside and out based on what they required: a sizeable build platform, precision, very smooth surface finish, and material properties (assuring that parts could be assembled, drilled and screwed without breaking).
Only one 3D printer matched all their specifications: the ProJet® 7000. With the help of reseller Shanghai Metang Novatech, Fujikon brought in the ProJet 7000, and as of May 2013 they had fully installed it, trained the staff and were off and running. It gives users the hallmark precision of SLA with a versatile build size of 380 x 380 x 250 mm. Its two laser sizes enable users to rapidly create parts while ensuring feature accuracy, smooth surface finish, and a choice of layer thickness. The material Fujikon tested, VisiJet® SL Flex, offered toughness for assembly testing, screwing and fit testing, while still having a perfect surface finish.
“As soon as we started, we could see and experience the stability of the machine” said Mr. Chunxiang Wu. “This was perfect die-less manufacturing: we produced accurate samples with arbitrary and complex geometry that we would not have considered before.”
To the benefit of manufactures and consumers, this new technology continues to open new doors in new directions.