Voodoo Sets Up 3D Printing Farms to Compete with Injection Molding

Posted Date 08/16/17

Voodoo Sets Up 3D Printing Farms to Compete with Injection Molding

Boston startup Voodoo is using off-the-shelf 3D printers to create a manufacturing process that’s cost competitive with injection molding. The company says it can produce up to 10,000 items in its print farms at costs comparable to injection molding manufacturing. But that’s not all: Voodoo plans to automate this process so there is as little human intervention as possible.

The company’s chief product officer and its CEO wrote in a blog post that automation was the way to reduce costs further, by as much as 90%. Costs, they wrote, come from materials, machines, and labor. Material and machine costs will go down naturally over the next years, so the focus must be on labor.

To cut 90% of labor costs, Voodoo launched Project Skywalker: it introduced a robotic arm in a printing farm, initially to collect the printed items from the printbeds and prep the machines for the next run. Although “harvesting” as this activity is called, accounts for just a tenth of total labor costs, automating it has made possible a round-the-clock production cycle, that is, a threefold productivity increase that would reflect on the bottom line.

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