Since its beginning in 2008, Nanoe has provided ceramic powders for the most famous French luxury brands in order to produce various jewels such as watch bearings, watch cases or ceramic pearls. Thus, when one of this luxury brand heard about the launch of the 3D printing brand Zetamix, they didn’t hesitate to order filaments. They became one of the first company to trust Zetamix technology and to adopt it.
The R&D department of this client was not only seduced by the versatility but also by the simplicity of use of the technology. Because black and white are must have color in the luxury industry, they were impatient to challenge the technology. Not only Zetamix was the first ceramic FFF technology, but above all the first technology that enable to print black ceramic part.
Among all the applications of Zetamix including tooling, small series and complex geometries, prototyping was the most valuable application for this company.
Indeed, For each model of watch created by designers, a prototype is produced to check the practicability of the model, but also to check if the prototype responds to designers’ expectation. Getting a prototype in the same material than the final object in crucial for designers. In order to ensure the esthetic aspect and the comfort of the jewel, they need to check the weight of the watch on the wrist, to see the intensity of the reflexion of light, or to feel the material of the jewel on the skin. Thus, it is not rare that designers change the shape of the watch face after having handled the prototype. Thanks to Zetamix , the production teams succeed to cut down both price and delivery time of ceramic prototypes.
Picture: Black zirconia Zetamix face watch
|Injection molded prototype||Zetamix|
|Cost||5 000€ to 20 000||30 €|
|Lead Time||6 weeks||1 week|
Indeed, creating prototype by regular process such as injection molding take months. Order the mold, optimize the parameters of machines and produce the first prototype take at least 6 weeks. Because it was delaying the production work of the final watches, R&D department was looking for a solution of quick prototyping for a while. By reducing the prototype production delay from 6 weeks to 7 days, Zetamix technology was simply revolutionizing the creation process of designers. Yet, they have not to wait for weeks before handling the fruit of their creation and give their approval to launch the production. Moreover, not only Zetamix technology cuts down the delay, but also the price of the prototype : while printing a part cost roughly 30 euros, the same part is obtained for 20 000 euros by injection molding because of the mold cost. Indeed, injection molding is convenient for mass production because of the creation of scale economies, but does not enable to produce small quantity.
Picture below : zetamix watch case after polishing
This company has given Zetamix a chance and never regret it : not only the technology cut down delay but also cost of prototyping . Furthermore, it has solved one of the biggest production issue and make the creation process smoother.