3D-Printed Motor Models

April 7, 2009
Motor manufacturer Baldor Electric brought 3D printing in-house via a Dimension 3D Printer.
Baldor Electric Co.,

Motor manufacturer Baldor Electric Co., Fort Smith, Ark. has gone to 3D-printed models to test a variety of components, including fans, conduit boxes, stationary switches, and motor-mounting brackets.

The company once relied on service bureaus to create physical 3D models of motor components. It generally took a bureau one to two weeks, and sometimes up to six weeks, to create a model. Now prototyping takes place inhouse via a Dimension 3D Printer.

“The machine has substantially improved turnaround times for prototypes,” says Baldor CAD engineer Dewayne May. “Now we get ABS parts ready for testing in hours, not weeks. And for $15, we can build models in-house that cost $500 through a service bureau. Less waiting time and lower costs gives us more flexibility to quickly make adjustments throughout the design cycle.”

“The high-quality ABS models let us accurately test components, so we can innovate much faster for a competitive edge,” says May.

About the Author

Leslie Gordon

Leslie serves as Senior Editor - 5 years of service. M.S. Information Architecture and Knowledge Management, Kent State University. BA English, Cleveland State University.

Work Experience: Automation Operator, TRW Inc.; Associate Editor, American Machinist. Primary editor for CAD/CAM technology.

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