A veteran when it comes to 3D printing, Kärcher has been working with the technology for 20 years and has brought 3D printing in-house to optimize its production workflow. Using both Stratasys FDM® and PolyJet™ technologies, Kärcher
has understood the power of 3D printing in accelerating a product’s time-to-market. Alphacam, one of the largest Stratasys resellers, based in Schorndorf, Germany, has accompanied Kärcher since the installation of its first FDM machine over 20 years ago.
Kärcher’s recent product development is a prime example of optimizing a design to offer customers the best possible product. The EASY!FORCE trigger gun is the heart of the latest Kärcher high- pressure cleaner and operates with a unique technology. Its patented design incorporates several different materials with varying rigidity and complex geometries. This combination makes realistic prototyping difficult using typical manufacturing methods.
“Traditionally we would use milling or order individual standard parts to assemble prototypes for products,” explains Achim Sanzenbacher, Manager of Prototyping at Kärcher. “This not only took a long time, it also constrained our ability to create a true-to-life prototype with the look and feel of the final product. Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing with its rubber-like Agilus™ material
and colorful, smooth Vero™ material
has enabled us to create prototypes that mimic the final part in no time at all, speeding up our prototype development for the EASY!FORCE trigger gun significantly, compared to traditional methods.”