“Reel” Part or Prototype? Zebco Relies on High-Quality Objet Prototypes

At a recent tour of Zebco Fishing and Tackle Chad Hoffman, the model maker, shared some pictures and insight on how they are using their Objet 3D Printer.   Zebco has had their Objet machine for over six years and is using it more than ever.  In the past, they used other 3D printing technology such as SLA machines and fused deposition modeling, but they needed a more office friendly machine in addition to smooth and accurate parts that could be painted and used for mock ups.

During the tour we viewed many different reels that Zebco painted and could not identify which was the manufacturing part verses which was the prototype!  Zebco has even printed a part that was used on an aquatic submersion unit for over 300 short runs. This machine is an endurance testing unit which spins the fishing reel main gear while it is submerged underwater until fail or to a specified number. Zebco has specific reels that are sealed and are able to be used while submerged (in saltwater) and this is one of the machines they use to make sure their products are of the highest possible quality.

Check out the above picture of a fishing reel.  As realistic as this parts looks, 99% of the assembly is printed on Objet printer and 1% is an additional piece. The Eden 333 has allowed for faster changes and parts that resemble those that are machined.   “I constantly hear from Zebco engineers that they have a hard time remembering how the department functioned before, “said Ruprecht. “After using a competing system for years, they still have no idea how they got their work done without Objet,” said Brad Ruprecht, Model
Maker.

Read more about how Zebco uses their Objet 3D Printer

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  1. Awesome technology on 3D Printer

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