One of the key benefits of 3D printing is the ability to create innovative designs. For KALLISTA, a leading designer and provider of luxury kitchen and bath products, this capability enabled the to create the Grid sink faucet, a design with unique geometry. The Grid was produced by 3rd Dimension using 3D Systems’ 3D printing materials and technology.
When KALLISTA’s design team embarked on the unique geometry of the faucet, they decided to produce the spout with 3D printing. This decision enabled the designers to create an open form with discreet interior channels that allow water to flow easily through the base.
“Designers usually need to consider a manufacturing process and they have to design around that process,” said Bill McKeone, design studio manager, KALLISTA. “By choosing to produce this faucet with 3D printing, we opened ourselves to limitless design possibilities. 3D Systems’ breadth of materials and technologies allowed us the freedom to create a unique, functional faucet which would not have been possible with a traditional manufacturing process.”
The faucets were produced by metal 3D printing specialist, 3rd Dimension, a high quality production metal manufacturer specializing in 3D direct metal printing based in Indianapolis. 3rd Dimension used 3D Systems’ ProX DMP 320 high-performance metal additive manufacturing system. To avoid rust and corrosion, the faucets are printed with 3D Systems’ LaserForm 316L, a high quality stainless steel 316 powder material.
“In order to realize the best product, you have to start with the best tools,” said Bob Markley, president, 3rd Dimension. “The strength of the 3D Systems technology and materials, coupled with the expertise of our engineers and machinists allowed us to rapidly produce and deliver these high end faucets for KALLISTA.”
As this was the first additively manufactured product for KALLISTA, the team at 3rd Dimension led them through a program to develop the as-designed concept for the 3D printing process.
Developing the design for additive manufacturing meant that KALLISTA was able to avoid the common delays of weeks or months needed for any kind of production tooling. 3rd Dimension’s experience with the 3D Systems ProX DMP 320 and engineering expertise enabled KALLISTA to produce the Grid faucet flawlessly. Because of the efficiencies and repeatability afforded by 3D printing, the parts were rapidly produced within hours.
“This is just one example of the value 3D printing brings to a production environment,” said David Cullen, director of applications engineering, 3D Systems. “Through the combination of materials, print technology, software and services, KALLISTA was able to bring their visionary design to market.”