Todema - Reducing Time & Cost By 80% Using Markforged 3D Printers

Published on : 25 January, 2023

"Thanks to Markforged technology, we've seen an 80% decrease in production time and costs compared to manufacturing in our machining centers."

- Luca Palamara, Mechanical Design Engineer

The Customer

Since 1960, Todema has been designing and manufacturing machines and plants for various market sectors, designing made-to-measure solutions to customer specifications while spearheading state-of-the-art technological innovation.

The company started out developing wire processing machines to meet local needs in Italy before expanding and diversifying into various industrial sectors — from wine capsule machines to pharmaceutical packaging, automation, robotics, and high-dynamic simulators. Today, Todema exports to Europe, America, and Australia.

The Challenge

Producing customized machinery for its customers while remaining at the cutting-edge of innovation has always driven Todema to create a large number of prototypes. Traditionally, these prototypes needed resources in the manufacturing department, which took valuable time away from the CNC machines producing the final parts. Some were made on a subcontract basis, meaning that waiting times and costs were impossible to control reliably.

Todema, partnering with the University of Pavia and the Politecnico di Milano, has always shown strong interest in new technologies. As a result, Todema decided to explore additive manufacturing, which promised an answer to ever-changing problems that are difficult to solve with traditional technologies.

The Solution

Thanks to continuous fiber reinforcement (CFR), Markforged technology has enabled Todema to produce both prototypes and end-use parts with the same mechanical strength as aluminum. Due to the excellent surface finish and consistent dimensional tolerances, Markforged technology has become the ideal solution to the company's prototyping and small-batch end-use parts on their deliverables.

The ability to print the prototype in-house has substantially shortened the lead times required for implementation, commissioning and validation of the machinery. This helps free up bandwidth for the company's CNC machines with less downtime.

The result? Lightning-speed product development, as specific equipment geometries can now be quickly, economically, and easily tested with functional prototypes. Due to Markforged 3D printing, Todema has also noticed more efficient production in other areas: the quick, easy-to-use process creates more time for its engineers, designers, and machinists to be 100% focused on what they love: innovation.

The Future

With the Digital Forge platform, Todema has been able to expand the spectrum of additive manufacturing use. Due to the reliability and quality of its prints, Todema uses Markforged to 3D print not just prototypes — but production parts as well. Today, many of Todema's machines contain 3D printed components.

Furthermore, the user-friendly software allowed the technical team to implement these benefits right from the outset without a substantial learning curve. This allows the team to easily optimize parts to take advantage of CFR's benefits from the very earliest stages of product development.

Todema's future research and development programs will increasingly rely on the use of 3D printing for faster lead times, cheaper prototypes, more CNC machining bandwidth, and a superior product development experience from start to finish.

"On a machine for the pharmaceutical sector, we needed to incorporate a conveyor for drugs (already packaged), with a specific geometry designed to be produced using 3D printing. There used to be six components, while now there are only two (80% reduction in the number of components). With Markforged technology, we've seen an 80% decrease in production time and costs compared to production on our machining centers." - Luca Palamara, Mechanical Design Engineer.

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