November 01, 2018
Florenradica is an Italian design company that fabricates prototypes and end-use parts for fashion houses. Their portfolio of products includes bags, shoes, buttons, jewelry, accessories and more. Florenradica has a background of traditional woodworking but their needs grew, and they ran into the challenge of delivering on high volume orders. How could they reduce physical labor while maintaining high levels of detail and quality? This initiated their transition from traditional to digital manufacturing.
Some of their designs were not able to be replicated with CNC machines and they needed a solution that provided extreme detail with reliable and consistent results. Their first foray into additive manufacturing involved them using budget FFF 3D printers but the printers required a lot of maintenance and experimentation to get reliable results. With 6-60 hour prints, they couldn't spend that time tinkering!
Then they tried Ultimaker. Starting with the Ultimaker 2, results were significantly more accurate and reliable meaning they could depend on the machines. Now they run a printing farm of 27 Ultimaker 2+, 13 Ultimaker 3s and two Ultimaker S5 Studio large format printers. The process starts with modeling in CAD and slicing in Cura, then printing the files in-house. The dual extrusion capabilities of the Ultimaker 3 and S5 printers allow for the use of dissolvable PVA support for easy post-processing which involves collecting the parts, dissolving the supports, sanding, priming, gloss painting and varnishing.
While 3D printed parts have become a significant part of their business (40% of all sales are Ultimaker printed parts) they have not abandoned traditional woodworking entirely. Having printers running means they can do simultaneous production of hundreds of items per day, with predictable lead times.
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