When is Advanced Manufacturing a value in production?

Article by Erin Elliott updated May 19, 2015


3D Print Shop is a rapid prototyping and manufacturing services bureau. We specialize in providing customers with a single source for custom manufactured parts. Using our vast array of materials and technologies, our highly qualified engineers will provide expert consultation on which materials and solutions best fit budgets, time constraints and manufacturing needs.

Can Advanced Manufacturing (AM) be a substitute for traditional manufacturing and is this where the manufacturing industry is headed? We will reference some of the projects we collaborate on to show where AM is of value and where it helps businesses survive or even thrive.

The Problem

We were approached by Gilbert-McEachern Electric, who specialize in motor installation and repair to compete with an offshore manufacturer on a part replacement.  The part they brought us was half of a broken impeller with many blades damaged from impact upon failure. 

Broken Impeller

Broken Impeller


The customer imported the impeller at a cost of $590 + shipping from Germany. The lead time was 3-4 weeks.

The Solution

The project was daunting, it combined accurate metrology with CAD design and 3D printing to produce the part which is now installed and turning at 3500 RPM with no detectable cavitation.

Using 3D Scanning we were able to obtain accurate measurements and a partial model representation. Using SOLIDWORKS software we designed the full part.  After confirming the measurements we rendered a printable file and began producing the part on a Stratasys Fortus 250mc in a Black ABSPlus material.

Scanned & Modeled Impeller Design

Scanned & Modeled Impeller Design

The Results

In less than a week we took a part that was completely destroyed and irreparable, planned the replacement, verified it with software and printed it with industry leading equipment.  At the end of the project we could compete with the price to ship a replacement from the manufacturer overseas.

Completed Impeller printed in ABSplus material

Completed Impeller (left) printed in ABSplus material

Advanced Manufacturing solved our clients’ problem by addressing lead time, part-price, supply chain and long-term replacement strategy.

 ImportingScanned, Designed and 3D Printed
Cost$590 +4-6 weeks
Time $3204 days


Contact 3D Print Shop at (289) 203-1722 or email services@3dprintshopinc.com for more information

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Erin Elliott

Erin is an Assistant Marketing Manager at Javelin Technologies, based at the Javelin head office in Oakville, ON.