Case study: Stölzle Glass Group 3D printing
3D printing and technology is come more and more into the process of glass making. To keep up with a changing market and increase efficiency, Stölzle Glass Group incorporated 3D printing techniques into their manufacturing process.
British plant Stölzle Flaconnage invested in a kit which can be easily customised to suit the special needs of individual processes. It prints by heating and extruding plastic filament (ABS/PLA or T-glass) through a 0.5mm in diameter nozzle on a heated base and builds layers on itself to create any shape required. The Austrian headquarters of Stölzle-Oberglas invested in a more sophisticated type of 3D printer which is able to produce translucent UV cured acrylate sample bottles. The 3D models are built in subtle layers (32μ) of acrylate around wax which after the printing process will be melted away easily in order to achieve a sample bottle which can be filled and even used for testing of closures by the customer. The 3D printer can create objects with a maximum size of 185 mm in height by approximately 200mm in diameter. Due to the utmost thin layers of acrylate, the sample bottles don’t require further processing like polishing or the removal of fix supporting materials.
With the 3D printers up and running, the Stölzle Glass Group is now increasing efficiency by troubleshooting and producing 3D models at a low cost in a matter of hours instead of weeks. Many of STO’s customers are already noticing and praising the benefits of this new model.