3D printing to present models at the fair and to the sales force

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The use of 3D printing for the production of models to be used at the fair or for product presentations to the customer is growing rapidly.


  1. The product is too large and difficult to transport
  2. It is too heavy and the shipping costs would be very high
  3. Before starting mass production I would like to show a model to the sales force.
  4. I have to do a photo book to close the catalog but I don’t have the finished product.
  5. My agent network needs functional models to use for demonstration purposes.
  6. I need models to bring to the show and I’m late with production

The reasons listed are all valid to evaluate if 3D printing can do for us.

Rapid prototyping can be a solution for the production of aesthetic as well as functional models.

Production times are fast and directly proportional to the complexity of the object, the size and number of models to be created.

In many cases where the finished product is very large, land, naval or military vehicles, satellites, submarines, the choice is for the production of small scale models.

It is possible to decide to reproduce the product in whole or part of it in section. It all depends on what we want to show or highlight.

The Prysmian casehistory and the use of prototyping for the production of demonstration models

In this article we will show you once again how the use of 3d printing knows no application limits.

Prysmian Group is a world leader in cables and systems for energy (submarine and land) and telecommunications. The subsea division needed to reproduce a 1: 1 scale sectional model that was light and easily transportable.

The model would have been used in trade fairs or for demonstrations with customers of the peculiarities of the product.

How to choose the most suitable 3D printing technologies for the project

Often the production of a mockup representative both on an aesthetic and functional level of a finished product is a fairly complex project.

The most critical moment is the choice of the most suitable 3D printing technologies to achieve the goal. To this end, we plan a meeting with the customer to understand in detail what the objectives of the project are and what is expected from the model. During this meeting, the aesthetic areas are identified, what type of finish they must have, the functionality of the model, how it will be used and in what thermal and environmental conditions, etc.

Often a maquette is made with a set of 3D printing technologies or other processes of a conventional nature to best meet the shared specifications.

In this specific case, the customer’s goal was to create an aesthetic sectional model in 1: 1 scale to realistically represent the inside of the cable.

Initially we did some tests by producing the body in stereolithography and painting the details.

Continuing with the subsequent assembly steps, we realized that to ensure optimal assembly it was necessary to change production technology and choose a process that could guarantee higher precision.

For this purpose, both the external body (sheath), in yellow and black, and the armor in gray were made by milling CNC to ensure optimal housing of internal components.

The internal area of the copper conductors was produced in stereolithography and subsequently painted, as was the surrounding sealing sheath.

We optimized the process of choosing the right technologies and produced 20 models in about 3 weeks.

A very original and unique project as evidence that the use of rapid prototyping technologies has no limits of use.

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