Crafts Technology 3D Printer station

Crafts Technology Thinks “Inside the Box” with Creative 3D Packaging Solutions

Crafts Technology engineers advanced systems and tooling that enhance the utilization and performance of industrial equipment, including superhard wear parts and cutting tools.  With over 100 years of experience working with some of the world’s largest manufacturers of production applications, we are skilled at thinking outside the box to create solutions based on innovation and continuous improvement for both the OEM and end-users.

At Crafts, one competitive advantage we provide our customers is developing custom refurbishing programs that deliver significant cost savings over the life of tooling and consumables.

CRAFTS IDENTIFIES OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT

As a solution-focused organization, we pride ourselves on finding opportunities and solving potential issues before they’re identified by clients. Some ideas may seem small, but these improvements make a big difference in the total cost of operation and the usability of components.  After noticing the assortment of boxing options clients use when returning parts for refinishing, which sometimes results in delays and transit damage, we identified an opportunity for improvement.

Superhard tooling and components are ridged.  If not properly packed, they can break during shipment.  Cutting consumables are sharp, which poses both safety and shipping challenges.  By analyzing every stage of the packaging process, a creative solution was discovered.

UNIQUE 3D PRINTING IDEAS THRIVE IN A ‘WHY NOT?’ CULTURE

Generally, we think of 3D printing as a technology used to accelerate early-stage product development through rapid prototyping. However, our engineering team developed a creative solution leveraging 3D printing equipment to manufacture highly customized packaging by thinking outside of the box.

By using 3D printers, we’ve overcome the packaging challenges of cost, availability, and geometric limitations. Today, we design and print individual packaging on-demand based on the specific needs of an application.

The development process includes looking at the geometry of the part, identifying critical features (i.e., sharp or fragile tips that might break during transport), and understanding the current process.  Next, the package is designed using CAD software. Finally, after conducting real-world testing to confirm form and fit, we send samples to our partners for comments and approval.

According to Brett R. Staehlin, Crafts Technology Mechanical Process Engineer, “After developing a few 3D printed packages we realized that adding embedded magnets helped eliminate alignment issues between the part and packaging insert or between two inserts that could otherwise lead to damage.  This is just one example of how small upgrades make a big difference.”

Once approved, we provide our partners with on-demand kits that include the needed packaging along with instructions if parts are being returned for regrinding.

Adding part to packaging
Removing part from packaging

CRAFTS CUSTOM 3D PRINTING IS A CREATIVE PACKAGING SOLUTION THAT HAS SEVERAL ADVANTAGES:

  • Saves time by not requiring your shipping department to procure materials and hand-build packages for geometrically challenging parts or pieces that need additional protection
  • Embedded magnets keep everything in place during shipment to eliminate alignment issues that can lead to damage
  • Each box is ergonomically designed for personal safety based on the unique part
  • Component sharp edges and fragile points are protected to avoid breakage during shipment and to reduce safety issues
  • Continuous fiber reinforced packaging provides structural integrity during transit
  • When necessary, the 3D package serves as an ideal storage vessel
  • Packages are built as needed with no minimum order requirements and can be increased to scale as required
  • Recyclable design is better for the environment than plastic options
  • By using rapid prototyping to develop the perfect package, a positive brand impression is built

Crafts adds a little magic in every box by creating innovative solutions that protect parts, improve ergonomics, and safely transporting components using recyclable 3D printing.

If you’re looking to partner with a team that has a history of developing unique solutions for the most demanding applications, contact our subject matter experts to learn how to build solutions that you did not believe were possible.

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