Defender3D Black.png
CREAT3D Case Study

FUSING END-USE PARTS WITH ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

“Using the Formlabs Fuse 1 technologies means that we can manufacture high quality products that encompass design, finish and strength.”

Tim Cieslik, Founder and Director, Defender3D

> ABOUT DEFENDER3D

Defender3D is an aftermarket automotive supplier, specialising in the design and manufacture of bespoke spare parts and accessories for the Landrover Defender L663 vehicle.


Based in the UK, Defender3D provides British engineered products with the flexibility of 3D printing at its core. Products range from wireless charging trays, storage solutions, interior lighting brackets, fixtures and casings to mounting components and brackets, that are all specific to the vehicle.

 

With a global client base including UK, Germany, Japan, Australia and USA, Defender3D supplies off-road specialist companies, automotive aftermarket suppliers and enthusiast groups.

> WHY USE ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING?

Tim Cieslik, Founder and Director of Defender3D, has previous experience of Additive Manufacturing, in particular using a range of extrusion (FFF) based 3D printers to prototype designs and produce light-use parts.

The problem encountered with using PLA and ABS materials for end-use products was warping and discoloration, which limited longevity and functionality.


With an increase in demand and a need to produce strong, resilient parts that were less susceptible to snapping, Defender3D expanded its 3D printing capabilities by investing in the Formlabs Fuse 1 and Sift SLS system (Selective Laser Sintering).

> NO DESIGN RESTRICTIONS

The products are bespoke in fit, functionality and design to the Defender L663.

With limited availability of aftermarket products, as well as restrictions on choice and functionality, incorporating the Fuse 1 3D printer has removed all design boundaries, which has resulted in the production of better quality products.

Tim explains “It’s tricky to highlight just one reason why we have invested in the Fuse! Key is the superior product quality. Also, not needing to print supports is a game-changer for us because we are no longer held back with design”

FROM PROTOTYPING TO PRODUCTION

Using PA12 (Nylon), the affordable SLS system has enabled the production of low cost, high quality parts that are manufactured in small batch runs.

PHONE MOUNT

COMPONENT USE

Mount for holding mobile phone

PRODUCT ISSUES

  • ​High levels of assembly required for finished product

  • Product uses multiple pieces of hardware

  • Part can be prone to snapping

DESIGN CHANGES MADE POSSIBLE WITH SLS TECHNOLOGY

  • Part re-designed into just two components

  • Hardware replaced with 3D printed elements 
    e.g. functional thumbscrew to manually adjust mount

OUTCOME OF USING 3D PRINTING ON

THE FUSE 1

  • No metal or hardware required

  • Single assembly, with single point of adjustment

  • Instructions can be 3D printed within the product      (no need to send paper instructions with product)

Old Phone Mount 3.png

Original part​

New Phone Mount 4.png

SLS redesigned part

Defender3D will continue to embrace and maximise the output of Additive Manufacturing. 


Whilst maintaining development and production of new products for Defender3D, the company will be adding further Fuse 1 3D printers into their suite of machines. This enables the company to excel in their expansion plans into other aftermarkets, including the cycling industry through 3D printing bespoke accessories, fittings and tools for service.

Formlabs_2021_Fuse Sift_010.png
Formlabs-logo-white.png

BUILD YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

As an independent Solutions Provider for Additive Manufacturing Technologies, we will share our cross-industry knowledge with you, so your company can gain a competitive advantage.

Contact our team to discuss your application and receive a free test print