JJ X-Ray was going to develop the cooling element from scratch, and it had to be very compact to fit into the instrument, at the same time as there had to be a flow of water with very little resistance. Therefore, of course, it had to be completely waterproof. In addition, vibration-damping was also to be built into the cooling element. With this taken into consideration and the fact that only a few pieces were to be produced, to get the lowest price, JJ X-Ray started to investigate the 3D printing possibilities.
3D metal printing was the right solution
JJ X-Ray decided to contact the center for industrial 3D printing at the Danish Technological Institute, to hear about the opportunities with 3D metal printing in aluminum. Furthermore, they got help to optimize their design, to achieve a lower price. The choice, therefore, fell on 3D metal printing the cooling element, due to design freedom and the low unit price. In addition, JJ X-Ray decided to work with aluminum as it is relatively cheaper than stainless steel and titanium. Furthermore, it is also faster to print in aluminum as the metal absorbs the heat faster from the laser.
The company found a quick and simple solution with 3D-metal print, and with easy installation as the elements would fit within the component. And furthermore, a cheaper solution compared with traditional methods. 3D-metal printing thus provided the best fit between high performance and a lower price at the same time. In addition, the business case would also work if 1000 pieces were to be produced.