Using 3D Printing To Print Complex Geometries With Dissolvable Support Material
Solarlytics, a 5 year old startup in Livermore California, specializes in improving the output of existing in-place solar panels. Their challenges using the conventional way is the process of loading of oddly-shaped and heavy (80+lbs) solar panels onto a testing rig is both awkward and labor-intensive. In early 2019, the team invested MakerBot Method 3D printer, with the ability to print complex geometries with dissolvable support material.
“The beauty of the METHOD is [that] you start the print at the end of Friday and when you’re back in the office [on Monday], it’s completely printed. The METHOD is a step above other 3D printers we’ve used.” Said Doug Raymond, Engineer and Co-Founder of Solarlytics.
The wheel clamp assembly was designed and manufactured on METHOD that allows a single person to roll the solar panel onto the flash test machine, easily position it and perform testing compared to previously where they required multiple personnel and lots of space for testing to take place.
The new design also prevents having to drag and possibly to scratch or damage the solar panel and requires lesser space.
METHOD 3D printer has the ability to print with Stratasys® SR-30 soluble supports that allowed to design the wheel clamp assembly as one complex part that is impossible to machine due to its internal bearings and pivot print.
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The Ginkgo Barista manages Ginkgo3D publications.