Motorola Solutions is a global leader in mission-critical communications and analytics. Their technology platforms in mission-critical communications, command center software and video security & analytics, bolstered by managed & support services, make cities safer and help businesses stay productive and secure. Motorola Solutions utilizes 3D printers for the design and development of highly sophisticated communications devices for professional and mission-critical markets in the commercial, government and industrial segments. Their AM capabilities are an essential part of their product development process and allow for the design flexibility they need for a wide range of parts.
Motorola Solutions has incorporated a wide variety of printers into their product development process to create prototypes/pilot builds and fixtures for internal evaluation and use. Their equipment ranges from desktop FDM printers to industrial-sized SLA printers. Being able to design, prototype and test parts in-house have given them a significant advantage in time and cost savings. When it came to their larger, complex designs, such as a housing enclosure, they were running into several issues. First, they found that their build time was increasing due to the limited amount they could yield in one build. Secondly, some of their larger designs couldn’t fit their current build platforms. Lastly, their FDM machines produced stair-stepped surfaces that required additional steps to remove layer lines. Motorola Solutions decided to set out to find an industrial-sized printer that could deliver the speed, quality, and cost they needed.
Finding a printer that could increase productivity without sacrificing quality was critical. Motorola Solutions identified several industrial-sized SLA printers to test against their size requirements, materials, and design. At the end of their evaluation, none were able to match the speed, durability, accuracy, and build area of the NXE 400. The cost was also a major driver. Some of the pricing models they were presented with, such as subscription-based equipment, meant they would spend more in the long run. The cost of ownership for the NXE 400 was straightforward and was going to ultimately help them remain profitable and reduce costs.
Since integrating the NXE 400 into their process, the team has found that they were able to print 5 to 10 times the speed of their traditional SLA machines. Production at these speeds helps Motorola Solutions significantly shorten their product development time. At the same time, the NXE 400 produces fast isotropic parts, with little to no build lines. This eliminates the additional steps needed to create a smooth finish. By achieving a high level of feature detail with every print, prototyping development has been far less costly. The combination of speed and quality has also reduced labor time, allowing teams to focus on other productive tasks. Motorola Solutions plans to continue implementing the NXE 400 into other workflow processes and they look forward to the latest software updates that will help them continually improve.