CREAT3D Case Study
TRANSFORMING ENTIRE BUSINESS WORKFLOW WITH ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
"The Markforged has changed the way we design. There are now no limitations. In the past we have been constrained by the traditional methods of manufacturing of machining, turning and sheet metal, but with Additive Manufacturing, it’s really changed the way we think about design and what is achievable.”
Mike Lau, Technical Manager, Fastlane Turnstiles
> ABOUT FASTLANE TURNSTILES
Fastlane Turnstiles is a brand of pedestrian entrance control, wholly owned by Integrated Design Limited (IDL), which was formed in 1985. Based in Feltham, near Heathrow, IDL has its own manufacturing premises and HQ onsite which is further expanding in 2021.
IDL design and manufacture high end security products and solutions for entrance control of buildings. The company’s key brands, Fastlane Turnstiles and Door Detective (anti-tailgating products), help to secure a large number of the world’s most notable and highest security buildings. IDL has a global range of clients in Banking & Financial, Education, Utilities and Healthcare facilities, including Facebook, Dell, Microsoft, Google, Fidelity Investments, Uber and Adobe.
Bespoke design requires a highly tuned workflow
Fastlane operate in a constantly evolving industry, with security products developing at a fast pace, with new advancements in identification processes. Over 70% of Fastlane’s end products have a bespoke element to them, including tailored aesthetics. Whilst core components cross-over in the range of entrance systems, there is a huge requirement to integrate different card readers, tokens or biometric systems into the end product to generate a personalised aesthetic and function. As a client’s identity becomes even more unique and important, so does the need to have branded and unique access control systems designed to match.
Integrating Additive Manufacturing into Fastlane’s workflows has enabled the team to develop and maintain a competitive advantage.
As a result of using the Markforged Mark Two, Fastlane have completely re-defined their business processes, from sales, to quoting and pre-production, through to design, production and assembly, with a direct result on their clients being able to receive more tailored solutions, and faster.
Additive Manufacturing is now involved right at the beginning of design and production process at Fastlane.
This change in workflow ensures that Fastlane can be sure they can deliver a high quality, bespoke product to the client and quickly.
The Mark Two 3D printer is located in the Engineering Office, with the Engineering and Design teams having continual access to the technology to respond to client design briefs and develop new products, and for the production teams to send requests for the development of production aids.
The initial reason for purchasing a 3D printer was for R&D. Fastlane wanted to improve internal processes, reducing costs and increase the speed of development. Surface finish and strength were important criteria in selecting the right type of Additive Manufacturing equipment, and working closely with CREAT3D, the Markforged 3D printer was recommended and selected.
Now, the range of applications has snowballed, and Fastlane have seen huge time & cost savings.
> BENEFITS FROM ADDITIVE
> Bespoke Components
One client wanted to integrate Hitachi’s USB Finger Vein Biometric Authentication Unit into their entrance control systems, to take a biometric scan of the user’s finger print to grant access. As the product itself was newly developed, there was no existing way to mount the unit to the turnstile.
By fitting a 3D printed housing, Fastlane were able to manufacture a complete set of entrance systems using the unique access control, that previously could not have been manufactured. The part was produced in Onyx material (Nylon with micro carbon fibres) which is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
> Faster R&D
Using the Markforged 3D printer allows the Engineering Design team to experiment with design, developing iterations rapidly at reduced costs and timescales. Carbon Fibre is commonly used in R&D parts, especially in components attached to moving parts, or clamps & shafts that require strength from the reinforcing fibres. The parts are 3D printed and validated, before proceeding to tooling.
R&D projects designed to develop product and check fit and functionality are now achieved a lot quicker, removing the need to manage external suppliers, and keeping knowledge and proprietary information in-house.
> Streamlined Production
Fastlane’s production teams are sending requests for the development of production aids to be 3D printed, including mountings, jigs and assembly components. Integrating Additive Manufacturing has enabled Production to manufacture and ship to deadline and reduce delays caused by the reliance on third party suppliers or incorrectly fitting parts.
FINGER VEIN HOUSING
This product was cost and time prohibitive to manufacture.
OUTCOME OF USING ADDITIVE
A bespoke housing was 3D printed in Onyx and fitted to the end turnstile.
No additional finishing required.
> Production time > 12 hours
> Production costs > £10 per unit
With over 70% of Fastlane’s end products featuring a bespoke element, this is where Additive Manufacturing plays a key role:
"One of reasons we use the Markforged 3D printer is to enable us to develop and manufacture elements to integrate bespoke card readers, tokens or biometric systems into the end product.
This speed and adaptability to integrate is important to us because we specialise on the aesthetic of our products.”
Tony Smith, Marketing Manager, Fastlane Turnstiles