The Perfect Complement
Hong Kong-based Western Tool & Mold specializes in many manufacturing applications such as tooling, injection molding, as well as producing a variety of products ranging from medical devices, drug containers, and metal replacements. With this expansive lineup of services, the company serves many industries like aerospace, medicine, electronics and industrial. Having faced challenges in the manufacturing process, the company turned to 3D printing to technology to find a solution. Adding Stratasys’ Fortus 3D production series gave Western the capability to manufacture parts faster and more cost-effective.
“Stratasys technology saves time, giving us the power to provide a quick answer to our customers’ problems . . . we can provide fast reactions to immediate needs” – Collin Wilkerson, Managing Director, Western Tool & Mold
Using the Fortus, Western Tool & Mold prints advanced functional prototypes in ULTEM 9085, an FDM thermoplastic that’s strong, lightweight, flame retardant, heat resistant up to 320°F (160°C), and that offers full flame, smoke and toxicity (FST) compliance with government regulations. The system also allows Western Tool & Mold to test new products. “We can validate designs before they become a problem in the manufacturing process, making us more integrated with the client’s workflow and giving us the opportunity to value-add to our services.”
Western Tool & Mold had two main concerns with implementing 3D printing into their production. First, they wanted to ensure their customers would use the machine repeatedly and lastly that the technology would cut into their injection molding revenue. Both of these concerns were alleviated as 100% of the customers returned to the company to manufacture parts using the Fortus 3D system, and the technology actually freeing up money for their customers to spend on tooling in the future. Wilkerson adds that 3D printing allowed them to become a better supplier as the technology extended and complemented their manufacturing process.