3D Printed Custom Conveyor Sprockets
3D printing finds new applications as a viable replacement for traditional manufacturing methods on a daily basis, and this project is a great example of that.
A local food manufacturer has an expansive production facility that’s full of complex food handling equipment. In fact, some of their equipment is so complex and specific that it has to be entirely custom-made in order to meet the stringent health and quality standards in the industry. These custom-made monsters of industry are massive and difficult to put together — something we found out the hard way!
One of the factory’s lines recently received a new conveyor, made to transport products all over the plant, and it had some very specific needs that couldn’t be met by conventional manufacturing methods. The conveyor’s belt is a very specific type of chain with extremely precise teeth and odd geometries, facts that would make machining custom sprockets time-consuming and expensive. For a local company that has to put out a constant stream of product, the extra expense is prohibitive and it simply cannot have down time! With 3D printing, it was relatively easy to engineer and design a sprocket that would fit perfectly in our client’s application, while keeping costs and lead times down.
With our ever-growing experience with gears, we were able to model this piece with extreme accuracy in our CAD software. After printing, the end result was a number of highly accurate sprockets that simply couldn’t be made any other way. Within just two days, we were able to provide our client with a cost effective and functional part that allowed them greatly increase their efficiency and continue to improve their company. Please contact us with any questions regarding your next project.