How 3D printing can be used for regulatory testing
3D printing has been gaining a positive reputation in the scientific community for a long time now, but do the results live up to the hype when regulatory testing?
In the world of testing to standards, you will come across a wide variety of products. Each one will have to fit into the machines you use for testing, so it’s important to choose your tools carefully. The machines tend to come with standard fittings. The construction of the products however, is at the mercy of the manufacturer.
How do you fit every device that comes your way into what can often be very costly machines? Custom printed adapters.
Fitting with machines
As I mentioned, you will likely have several pieces of calibrated equipment that are used for the testing of products. These machines tend to be used for most things you will test, but tend to come with no or limited adapters.
This leaves you with only a small testing niche; you could outsource the manufacture of these parts, but with high costs for small batches and long lead times, you may find yourself with unhappy customers. Having the power to create such things inexpensively in-house allows you to reduce costs and pass these savings on to your customers.
Choice of materials
During certain types of tests, chemical analysis for example, you need to be confident that nothing will be added to collected samples which shouldn’t be there. Luckily, most materials used in 3D printing are chemically inert and so will not react with anything else.
The materials are also receptive to lakers, which will prevent chemical leaching along with issues of residue build up. This makes the testing process simple, with minimal room for error.
Creating test rigs
With standard regulations, things aren’t always as cut and dry as you might imagine. The tests described in the standard often don’t have commercially available equipment and are sometimes only loosely described. The tests can also only be carried out at the discretion of the testing body.
In such scenarios it is common to use a test rig, but these can be difficult to source parts for as things are often held in odd positions. Again, this is where 3D modelling comes to the rescue. A custom model can create support for components, fasteners or fasting points as well as adapters to help connect parts that weren’t designed to go together.
3D printing is making waves in every industry – it turns out having custom parts with a fast turn around is an incredible asset, and regulatory testing is no different.
We offer a full regulatory compliance service, including testing in our own laboratory, as well as bespoke testing services. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.