Stratasys Ltd. may be on its way to becoming the most popular 3D printing firm on the planet by improving the production of chocolate candy bars.
Visual First — a 3D services firm based in the Netherlands — is using an FDM nylon 12 carbon-filled material made by Stratasys to replace metal machine parts for The Chocolate Factory, a candy firm also based in the Netherlands.
The ability to 3D print machinery replacement parts on-demand has reduced machine downtime, ensuring production line continuity for The Chocolate Factory, Stratasys officials said in a news release.
The Chocolate Factory runs a network of packaging machines, with the company's daily throughput relying on the smooth operation of a simple, yet crucial, hook-shaped metal part that lifts wrapped bars onto a conveyer belt.
A problem occurs when the part malfunctions, typically with such regularity that it needs to be replaced three times each month. Because each replacement part is handmade, delivery can take over a month, officials said.