Stratasys FDM 3D Printed prototype part on left is tested for form, fit and function before final part (on right) is produced
Established in 1975, in Valence, France, SODIMAS designs and manufactures high end custom elevators. SODIMAS solutions can be adapted to all architectural styles and projects due to the quality of the materials used and their carefully designed finishing. “Because SODIMAS is focused on the niche elevator business, developing relatively small series of customized solutions, we need to innovate a lot and that’s why Stratasys 3D Printing Solutions are so important to our company,” explains Patrice Arnoult, General Manager, SODIMAS. Spearheading this innovation is the company’s FDM-based Fortus 450mc 3D Printer from Stratasys, which is being used for three primary applications: functional prototyping, assembly tools, as well as sales tools and teaching aids.
Cutting Prototype Production Time by 98%
“All of our elevator cabins are made from aluminum, but the concept and development for the frames is achieved using Stratasys 3D printing solutions,” explained Stéphane Réau, Deputy Technical Director. “We design and produce the parts that are used to assemble the elevator’s ceiling, walls and floor, simultaneously. Once we’ve 3D printed each part, we’re able to quickly check the design and assembly for the correct fit, before proceeding to the manufacture of the lift in aluminum.”
Since it began using Stratasys 3D printing solutions for prototyping, SODIMAS engineers have become accustomed to the terrific time-savings and added flexibility they deliver. “As a mechanical engineer, I am very often using our Stratasys 3D Printer. I send my part design directly to the Fortus through the provided Insight software so that I can have the part in a few hours on my desk,” said Mathilde Richy, Structural Calculation Manager, SODIMAS. ”When I produce the final mechanical part in metal, I have to wait about 15 days. With 3D printing, I have my part within a few hours. It allows me to assemble and validate it immediately.”