Operon is a pedagogical publishing house that constantly meets the expectations of the teaching community and meets the educational needs of students. They offer didactic kits containing not only textbooks, but also a substantial package of supplementary materials for the student, teacher, and school, such as multimedia teaching aids and educational films of their own production.
As a complement to their offer, Operon wanted to offer teachers a small electronic device based on Raspberry Pi, which made it possible to present educational materials in an easy way. The device was to be produced in the volume of several hundred pieces per year, and the design was constantly modified in the meantime – the versions of Raspberry Pi were changing, and therefore the dimensions of the entire device.
The challenge was to design and manufacture a casing and to select the production technology that would correspond to the customer’s business assumptions.
The main problems were the low volume and the constantly modified design of the housing – these factors excluded production in the injection moulding technology.
After analysing the available options and technologies, Operon decided to manufacture housings in HP Multi Jet Fusion technology from PA12 material. The parts had been vibro-abrasively finished, and then varnished to the customer’s chosen colour from the RAL palette.
The Cubic Inch team took on the entire process of designing, prototyping, and selecting surface finishing technology, to finally deliver ready-made enclosures in just-in-time mode. Operon ordered only as many cases as it needed at a given time, and we delivered them within 1-2 weeks, depending on the size of the series.
Comprehensive implementation and solution of the problem.
For a company such as Operon, which does not have its own team of engineers, it was of great value that the Cubic Inch team took on the entire process of creating an enclosure from a to Z. We designed subsequent enclosure replacements and sent prototypes for approval.
Reducing business risk and improving liquidity
Production of enclosures in 3D printing technology did not require any initial costs, and production in just-in-time mode does not require ordering parts for the warehouse. This solution is very beneficial in terms of flexibility and financial benefits – you do not need to freeze capital in the form of injection or in parts per warehouse.
Possibility of better matching the project to the needs of customers
The first production series very often verifies the original design assumptions, and it is worth modifying them to better meet the requirements of the market. In 3D printing technology and HP MJF, design change does not require additional financial commitment as opposed to injection moulding technology. We can modify the model at every stage of production.
Faster market entry
In this case, the technology of creating prototypes was the same as the technology of manufacturing the final product. This makes it possible to smoothly move from the prototyping stage to the production stage. Thanks to this, the product implementation time has been shortened.