Seatools Exhibits Quality with Appearance Models from 3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing

Seatools Exhibits Quality with Appearance Models from 3D Systems
On Demand Manufacturing

3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing delivers durable and high
quality detail in 3D printed appearance display

No matter how many leagues under the sea your underwater
problem is, Seatools exists to design, build and test custom equipment to solve
subsea challenges. Based in the Netherlands, Seatools is a global provider of
bespoke subsea solutions for companies ranging from offshore oil and gas to
offshore renewables and aquaculture development. In light of its expansive and
diverse scope, Seatools faced a distinct challenge in quickly and effectively
communicating its range of custom offerings at the highly attended Offshore
Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, TX.

As the largest event in the world for the oil and gas
industry, OTC attracts over 2,300 exhibitors a year and counting. Therefore
Seatools knew it needed to make a splash with a creative trade show display to
ensure a positive return on investment and do everything in its power to
attract attention and engage new business.

With the help of 3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing
services, Seatools devised a unique subsea landscape to display seven distinct 3D printed appearance models of
its various custom underwater technologies. Offering expansive prototyping and
manufacturing services to support the entire product development lifecycle, 3D
Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing experts deliver quick, high quality parts
ranging from fast turn and advanced prototypes to appearance models and low
volume production.

High quality
appearance models

As Seatools explored the various options available for
achieving scale equipment models, the company first defined the outcome it had
in mind. When all was said and done, Seatools needed high quality, highly
detailed models that would reflect company standards and withstand
transatlantic shipping.

“It was very important to me that the models arrive in
Houston in one piece,” said Johan Sol, a member of Seatools’ supervisory board
and marketing and business development office. “We are a company that sells
high-end equipment with high quality, so if we were to show broken models on the
show floor, it would not be in line with the quality we sell to our customers.”
With seven distinct models identified for display and the show deadline
looming, speed of production was also a factor.

Due to the extensive time and costs involved in hand built
scale models, conventional methodologies were soon ruled out in favor of 3D
printing. It was then only a matter of selecting a technology, and Seatools’
careful research pointed to selective laser sintering (SLS).

“The 3D models had to be transported by freight, and we knew
from other scale equipment models in the past that they endure a lot of shock
loads,” Sol said. After a dialogue with 3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing
experts in the Netherlands, Seatools confidently opted for high strength nylon 3D
prints produced on 3D Systems’ sPro™ 230 SLS machines in DuraForm¨ PA. Once 3D
printed, the scale models were finished, painted and assembled by 3D Systems’
manufacturing experts and delivered precisely to specification.

Robust scale models
on demand

Seatools’ choice of SLS technology proved advantageous both
in terms of durability and visual appeal. Favored across industries for the
material properties it can offer, SLS is widely used for functional
applications, such as snap fits and living hinges, which came in handy for this
project. To help Seatools achieve 3D appearance models that matched the
company’s quality standards, 3D Systems’ on demand team engineered separate
components for each equipment model to paint and piece together into an
accurate final assembly.

According to Sol, the results were striking and effective.
The diversified scale equipment models survived their journey from the
Netherlands to Houston and represented the full sized machinery accurately in
appearance and innovation. Due to the material properties of SLS printing and
the ability to achieve thin walls with good strength, Seatools was ultimately
able to include more high quality details than alternate 3D printing
technologies could have provided. In addition to allowing trade show visitors
to grasp the diversity of Seatools’ offerings, the models reflected the level
of care, focus and quality Seatools’ customers can expect when working with the
company.

The 3D models far outperformed their original task of
helping Seatools avoid getting lost in the trade show shuffle, and played an
instrumental role in the company’s trade show display. Based on Sol’s
experience he says there are only a few seconds to catch people’s attention in
a trade show setting. The models not only helped Seatools draw a crowd to its
booth, but they also enabled the Seatools sales team to make a more effective
and interactive sales pitch. “Our team could use the subsea world to reference
the various models and tell a story about the company while showing the diverse
capabilities of Seatools,” he says.

Expert craftsmanship
and winning customer service

From beginning to end, the customer-focused attention and
craftsmanship of 3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing experts was central to the
timeliness and quality of the final products delivered. Like Seatools, 3D
Systems places a priority on understanding and answering the needs of its
clients. Throughout CAD file optimization, 3D printing, painting and assembly,
Seatools could rely on 3D Systems for technical mastery, multidisciplinary
talent, honest comparisons and collaborative support. The high service level 3D
Systems provided unburdened Seatools from all concerns related to scale model
production, and allowed the undersea solutions company to focus on its core preparatory
efforts.

New depths of
innovation

As a leader in its field, Seatools constantly innovates to
solve unique problems. The company treats trade shows no differently and took
an insightful approach to sharing the complexity of the work it does for its
various global clients. Not only was Seatools successful in clearly and
creatively communicating the work it is capable of doing, but the 3D printed
subsea world it presented opened the door for inquiring companies to see and
understand what Seatools is all about.

“The subsea landscape was really an eye-catcher,” says Sol.
“It drew a crowd and helped introduce us to new companies to start building new
relationships.”

For help with your next trade show display or for more information
on 3D Systems’ complete range of product lifecycle support services, contact
our On Demand Manufacturing experts. Whether
you need fast turn 3D printed parts, advanced prototyping with assembly and
finishing services or low volume manufacturing including CNC, urethane casting
and injection tooling, 3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing services can help
advance your project, timeline and goals.

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