When building an electronic product that is to be directly marketed to the customer, it mostly has to come with a case or a cover. When it comes to building that, the cost becomes a major concern, especially for a start up. The big companies often has cash in their hand to start producing at bigger scales, which lowers the cost per piece as well as gives them better profit margins.
As a startup firm, with very small amount of cash in hand, we were not able to invest a lot in molding methods, as we were not sure about the customer reception of our product. We obviously wanted to eliminate risks involved or bring it down to a very low level.
We tried the new technology of 3D Printing. To begin with, we had no idea on how good it would be. The above image is our version 2 of 3D Prints with ABS Plastic. We chose ABS over PLA due to its thermal stability at higher temperatures.
Why did we choose to use 3D Printing ?
We chose 3D printing due to its lower initial investment. We compared the price point of cost per piece of 3D printed and molded plastic cases. We found that, for a startup which expects to slowly ramp up the production, and is quite unsure of the production volume, a 3D Printed case would be good.
Where did we get it printed ?
We browsed through a lot of online options and then chose Magesh for our 3D prototype printing and for the 3D printing related technical helps.
What material did we choose ?
We chose ABS Plastic because of its better thermal properties compared to PLA. The other material options were much costly compared to these, and were not viable to be used.
What next ?
We would upgrade the structure, and correct errors when gearing to our next version, which will be a near-to-production model.