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Technical Printing: Development


Last updated Dec 21, 2023 | Published on Feb 16, 2021

For technical printing projects, Boyd provides support from development all the way to production.

This blog is the second in our series on technical printing. In our first blog, we gave an in-depth description of what technical printing is. In this blog, we will talk about how technical printing projects go from development to production.

How are technical printing projects started? At Boyd, technical printing projects start in our development department where the design is inspected, reviewed, and tested. The goal is to produce development part designs and quickly determine if the part is manufacturable. Our printing team will provide design considerations and test reports until a conclusion is drawn. Once a batch of parts has a high yield per volume and a high success rate, the project can move onto full production.

Phases of Technical Printing Projects

There are five phases that technical printing projects go through during development before they can move on to full-scale production, each with specific operations. These phases are particular to technical printing projects only because of the high level of scrutiny required in development.

Phase 1: Ideation

Ideation is an ongoing conversation between the customer and Boyd to identify the areas of the highest design risk. This allows both parties to define steps to test design assumptions and evaluate potential design and material solutions to help build confidence about the known challenges.

Phase 2: Risk Mitigation

The Risk Mitigation phase is used to validate material stability and printability, explore material handling and registration options, review curing processes, and establish a planned production approach. Defining the risks and challenges that are likely to occur allows for a plan to be made accordingly. All challenges must be addressed with care as technical printed parts require much tighter tolerances.

Phase 3: Low-Volume Functional Prototyping

Low-volume prototyping is used to create functional printed parts using the materials and preliminary product design planned for use during full volume production. This may take several rounds of prototype layouts and testing until a high yield success rate is achieved. With technical printing, projects in this phase become more device-specific and are outside of typical production, development, and industry standards.

Phase 4: Production Development Prototyping

With a suitable design identified, Boyd will work on transitioning into production manufacturing development. Larger quantities of parts will be printed and evaluated, with the goal of meeting customer specifications. Technical printing requires more rigid quality standards and process control, which is why Boyd implements such rigorous production reviews.

Phase 5: Production Validation

Once the parts have passed production development prototyping, the project is handed to a production team and design engineer to apply to production volume quantities.

Boyd’s expertise and strict quality systems allow us to work in these highly regulated spaces and gives our clients confidence in the parts we produce for them. In our next blog, we’ll be going over the qualification procedures for a technical printing project.

Ready to start your technical printing project? Contact Boyd to get started!

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