CPI Aero is a Cimquest customer that manufactures aircraft assemblies. They started doing military work directly for the government, built a good reputation for themselves, and now they have recently branched off into commercial work. Daniel Gray, their program engineer, explains how 3D printing cut their lead time on most projects from months to hours. They can now take a complicated contour surface from the computer screen and bring it right into their hands in a relatively short timeframe. For some of the tools with very complicated contours (but limited in size) that they can 3D print, they have seen cost savings in the range of 80 – 90% versus quotes from local machine shops.
They are using the Stratasys Fortus 360mc and feel that the Insight software that Stsratasys provides is extremely intuitive. Daniel feels that with any CAD experience at all behind you, Insight is very easy to pick up.
Daniel explains how working with Cimquest has been seamless for him, from start of contract straight through training of both hardware and software. In only 6 months they have gone from buying things to printing their own. In as many cases as possible they are using 3D printed pieces as less expensive alternatives to very complicated and therefore expensive assembly tools.