3D Systems Boosts Innovation At A. O. Smith With 3D Printers

- Shaves Time-To-Market And Reduces Development Cost, Driving Higher Sales -


ROCK HILL, South Carolina, January 24, 2012 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today that A. O. SmithCorporation (NYSE:AOS), a leading global manufacturer of water heating equipment, is creating more attractive and energy-efficient water heaters through its advanced new product development process, which integrates 3D printing solutions from the company’s full-color professional 3D printers.

Using a ZPrinter® to create prototypes in-house, A. O. Smith is shaving weeks off product development, saving substantial cost as well as time. This enables them to iterate more productively and thoroughly refine designs, according to the R&D team.

“Instead of commissioning aluminum molds or sending out to busy contractors for plastic models, we can produce our own high-resolution color prototypes for a fraction of the cost,” said A. O. Smith CAD Supervisor, Steve Wood, from the company’s Johnson City, TN, manufacturing facility. “When a trial design isn’t perfect, we quickly revise it and print another 3D model, or we create several different prototypes at the same time. Our ZPrinter gives us the flexibility to make real-time changes and react quickly to our customers’ demands.”

An aluminum mold, including setup and prototype production, can be costly, consuming as much as six weeks from the company’s design cycle before the first part is produced. Worse, if the prototype doesn’t work, a significant design revision can require a new mold and another cycle of waiting. With its ZPrinter® 650 3D printer, A. O. Smith can print multiple prototypes reflecting a wide range of design alternatives in a few hours at a significant cost reduction.

A. O. Smith expected the ZPrinter to pay for itself quickly, but is happily finding that the return on the ZPrinter investment exceeds even its expectations. “Because we’re finding it increasingly valuable as time goes on – and thus are using it more,” stated

A. O. Smith CAD Operator, Robert Anest, “it is sure to pay for itself sooner than we thought.”

In addition to printing prototypes, A. O. Smith is printing molds for the production of plastic molded parts – again avoiding costly aluminum molds. According to Wood, “To produce prototypes from our own molds, we’re spending less money and time.”

The integration of A. O. Smith’s ZPrinter® 650 3D printer has not just been a cost savings either. “It’s both a unique and an effective sales tool,” said Wood. “Our customers and partners love them – for one thing, they don’t have to lug around a 200-pound water heater. And we’re getting great feedback from everyone involved.”

About 3D Systems Corporation

3D Systems is a leading provider of 3D content-to-print solutions including 3D printers, print materials and on-demand custom parts services for professionals and consumers alike. The company also provides creative content development, design productivity tools and curation services and downloads. Its expertly integrated solutions replace, displace and complement traditional methods and reduce the time and cost of designing new products by printing real parts directly from digital input.  These solutions are used to rapidly design, communicate, prototype and produce functional parts, empowering its customers to create with confidence.

More information on the company is available at www.3DSystems.com.

To experience our entire range of 3D content-to-print products and services please visit www.printin3D.com, www.production3dprinters.com, www.3Dproparts.com, www.zcorp.com, www.toptobottomdental.com, www.quickparts.com, www.alibre.com, www.bitsfrombytes.com, www.botmill.com, www.cubify.com, www.The3dStudio.com, www.freedomofcreation.com, www.sycode.com, blog.3dsystems.com, or via email at Email Contact.

Review Article Be the first to review this article
SolidCAM: Program your CNCs directly inside your existing CAD system.

Autodesk - DelCAM

Featured Video
GIS Analyst for City of Elk Grove at Elk Grove, CA
Upcoming Events
Electric&Hybrid Aerospace Technology Symposium 2016 at Conference Centre East. Koelnmesse (East Entrance) Messeplatz 1 Cologne Germany - Nov 9 - 10, 2016
Autodesk University Las Vegas at Las Vegas NV - Nov 15 - 17, 2016
TurboCAD pro : Free Trial

Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy Advertise