Onyx, Continuous Carbon Fiber
Bernstein Mechanische Fertigung GmbH (BMF) was founded in 2007 by Dörte and Ronny Bernstein. From that two-person team, BMF has grown into a globally operating company for mechanical and industrial engineering. They provide post-processing equipment for CNC and other production methods of individual parts, small series, and prototypes.
BMF employs a unique technique called "Smart Surface Control" (SSC) for the post-processing of metallic components. SSC includes several post-processing steps, including sandblasting and quality control, that require a large number of unique components. Many of these parts have complex manufacturing processes that face lengthy lead times and depend on expensive storage. The company invested in the Markforged platform to help replace as many machined components as possible, streamlining those production processes and minimizing their dependence on storage.
As they grew familiar with the platform, BMF discovered that Markforged machines were easy to use and reliable. They incorporated Markforged Eiger software into their workflow, and began to print more and more parts out of wear-resistant Onyx and robust continuous carbon fiber. These components can endure use in the sandblasting areas without concern, and are far lighter than the CNC-milled components they replaced.
Apart from a great price-to-performance ratio, the ease-of-use of Markforged machines and the Eiger software impressed the team.
BMF intended to use Markforged as an introduction to 3D printing technology. Now, two of their top product lines, Twister and Tornado, are produced with support from Markforged printers. Components made of Onyx and continuous fiber have proven wear-resistant and break-proof even under extreme stress. They can also be used with confidence in the blasting area. BMF can achieve a 50% weight reduction over milled components, which contributes to faster cycle times and less wear on critical components. Most importantly, the lead time for production is measured in hours instead of weeks.
The crown gear BMF 3D printed transmits power to the bevel gear, and has a quadrangular form closure in the middle as a shaft-hub connection. The wheel is located in the jet area and is subject to particularly high mechanical and abrasive requirements.
Used for power transmission and for holding workpieces weighing up to 3.5 kg, the bevel gear BMF fabricated has a printed ball bearing seat and a recess for retaining rings. Thanks to the durability and high dimensional accuracy of Onyx-printed parts, it's possible to press the ball bearings into the component.
Pipe clamps and tube extensions such as the ones BMF made are a connection between a standard 1" valve and a 4mm pipe. 3D printing these parts eliminates the need for costly casting and stock-keeping. They can be manufactured just a day before a scheduled installation.
The 3D printed LED machine light combines multiple parts at a significant cost reduction. It is printed in Onyx as a three-part construction kit in one job. BMF can individually adapt each unit to their own machine design.
Finally, the "half-moons" BMF 3D printed form a seal between the housing and the hollow shaft. The two halves are inserted and plugged together with sealing parts. After curing, the connection is both air- and dust-tight.
BMF’s success proved that 3D printed parts could suitably replace metal — and potentially solve a huge supply chain issue: Delivering spares and replacement parts to their customers. BMF had seen first-hand the transformational implications of digital on-demand inventory. Scaled up, the result is a fully-digitized supply chain. High-consumption customers can implement printers at their own sites, digitally request the necessary files, and print parts where and when they need them. Now, BMF delivers a superior experience that offers customers true immediacy while drastically reducing their logistics costs.