Don't you always hate it when you have a machine designed with wear-parts that cost a fortune to replace? Well Sunshine Sugar sure do. They have a machine that removes unwanted packaging from sugar products up to 100,000 times a day, only the arms that remove the packaging need replacing regularly, and the OEM supplier is charging a cool $1400 ($1000 US) for the privilege.
Enter Daniel Marks
Daniel is a 27 year old drafting apprentice who works at sunshine sugar. he decided that he could do something about the money pit that was the arms of the machinery, and set to work on redesigning the arms to be suitable for 3d printing. not as simple as reverse engineering the parts unfortunately, as he had a fairly big hurdle to get over, in that the OEM parts were steel, and he could only 3D print in plastic. replacing the part for a like-for-like-but-plastic is fine, but the part would last a fraction of the time. so he set to work developing the new parts.
The End Result
As you can see in the image (Left) credit ABC News, this is was he came up with. after a lot of Research and Development, he managed to create the parts for just $40... $40!! The new design is beefed up the plastic and may not last as long as its steel counterpart, however if there are additional maintenance and changeovers happening, sunshine sugar definitely wont mind, they calculate they'll save upwards of $10,000 a year thanks to Daniel!