SDU has always had a strong connection with local industry, and they regularly host “Industry Days” where businesses can present their problems to SDU’s team, and they will work to solve them. They also visit local businesses to see what they are working on and often come away with new collaborations. It was during one of these visits that Zirocco, a company that produces world-leading jet dryers, approached SDU to improve the watertight battery casing on their product.
Zirocco’s original design was a bulky chunk of steel, as it was originally designed for conventional CNC machining, with unnecessarily thick walls (~10mm). SDU recognized this and quickly got to work redesigning the battery casing for metal 3D printing. After a few design optimizations and trial prints, they were able to reduce the wall thickness by a factor of 10, thus saving material and reducing waste. SDU’s team delivered 10 pieces to Zirocco, who was surprised by how lightweight the parts were and how fast they were manufactured. These 10 pieces designed, printed, and delivered by SDU went right into Zirocco’s production. It was great for the SDU team to see that these are not just prototypes, but actual commercialized products.