Case Studies

3D Printing Set to Support SISSA’s Research Needs

The arrival of a new 3D printer from 3D Systems marks the start of a “mechatronic” age at SISSA, the International School for Advanced Studies based in Trieste, Italy. The School is focused on conducting leading-edge scientific research and educating post-graduate students in new research programs.

The new laboratory being set up using 3D printers from 3D Systems will enable SISSA researchers to be increasingly self-sufficient in designing and constructing experiments, and building specialized machinery needed for their studies. With this sophisticated equipment, including a new‐generation ProJet 3510 multi-jet 3D printer, and the laboratory’s expertise, scientists will no longer have to adapt their research to the constraints of existing technology but will be able to work more creatively, developing technology that fits their needs better. “We have the opportunity for virtually endless creative possibilities,” comments Marco Gigante, the engineer in charge of 3D design at SISSA’s new Mechatronics Laboratory.

The laboratory, headed by Mathew Diamond, a neuroscientist and coordinator of the Neuroscience Area of SISSA in Trieste, combines the fields of mechanics, electronics and informatics and supports all the research projects carried out within SISSA, a virtually unique center among Italian scientific research institutions. “Many experiments conducted by our research scientists rely on experimental setups that are designed in great detail and controlled electronically with extreme precision,” explains Fabrizio Manzino, in charge of the laboratory’s software development. “The research scientists come to us and we work together on the experimental setup until we’re ready to construct the machinery in all its parts."

Lexmark Managed Print Services (MPS)

No output strategy.
No operational efficiency.

Businesses still depend on paper to serve customers, run supply chains, care for patients, open new accounts and all the other activities that drive performance and growth.

To move and use that paper-based information, organizations rely on processes and people. When these are aligned and efficient, your entire business benefits through faster turnaround, better decisions and responsive customer service.

Lexmark Managed Print Services (MPS) connects print, process and people to drive productivity and performance.

It creates environments for business growth and customer satisfaction through:

  • Infrastructure Optimization
  • Proactive Management
  • Business Optimization

Credibility established by our track record

Lexmark has been at the forefront of MPS for over a dozen years. We bring you a rich portfolio of awardwinning multifunctiondevices, industry-specific software and highly skilled experts.

Our customer loyalty is solid, with a renewal rate of 96% for the last four years, and one of the greatest percentages of large customers of any MPS provider.


Austin Graphics: Revolutionizing Display Graphics


Austin Graphics faced increased demand for rigid display graphics, but its existing production process, which included printing on flexible substrates that had to be mounted and laminated, was creating production bottlenecks, high production costs and extended turnaround times. They required a superwide format printer that could print directly on rigid substrates in order to leverage market demand into continued business growth.

Growth Brings Challenges

“One area we have excelled in is the production of vehicle wraps,” said Pesnell. “In fact, we have about 95% market share in the region. This area of business is growing as more companies use vehicles as an effective means to promote themselves.” Austin Graphics also produces signage for a wide range of businesses and trade show exhibits.

“The move into superwide format was the best thing we could have done for the business,” adds Pesnell. As business grew, so did the demand for rigid displays. Pesnell explains, “We were able to produce terrific rigid displays, but it was a time consuming and costly process, especially with the cost increases we have seen in mounting adhesives and laminates. Not only that, it was a five-step process for us to create a rigid display – printing, mounting, laminating, die cutting and finishing. We needed to find a more efficient way to handle this business.”


Lowering Cost and Reducing Production Time, ProJet 3D Printing Lets Turbine Technologies Soar

Making test parts using traditional mold manufacturing techniques is risky business. Take turbine engine components, which traditionally require weeks and tens of thousands of dollars to finish. The designs upon which these parts are based go through extensive cycle analysis, computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and solid modeling, but there’s always the chance that alterations may be required due to a mistake or change in specifications. In any case, if a design change is suddenly required, your shiny new test part is now an expensive, time-eating piece of scrap.

In addition, with traditional techniques iterative design and testing become virtually impossible. Turbine blades especially may require several tests, as they have to be twisted precisely. Even a few degrees off and they won’t function. But when one part costs upwards of $20,000, it’s not feasible to produce several parts for testing alone.

Standout turbine engine makers are finding ways to make changes and maximize iterative design by producing parts quickly, accurately and at a low cost. Wisconsin-based Turbine Technologies and its gas turbine development sister company, Kutrieb Research, get it right by using 3D Systems ProJet™ 3D printing technology to produce multiple wax patterns, which they then cast in super alloys and test until they find the right design.

“All the engineering and FEA software in the world can’t replace actually having physical test models,” says Toby Kutrieb, the company’s vice president. For a company that considers physical testing its linchpin, the ProJet wax patterns are a huge boost to creating an R&D process that doesn’t rely on expensive tooling. 

Managed Document Services Deliver Insurance Premium

Providing managed document services for Generali Switzerland, Ricoh transformed the insurer’s document infrastructure, improving access to information and enhancing document security whilst cutting print expenditure by 24%. The ongoing benefits of the optimisation programme are such that Generali Switzerland had no hesitation extending Ricoh’s contract.

Document Intensive

Generali Switzerland is part of the Fortune 500 global insurance and financial services organisation Generali Group. The leading provider of unit linked life insurance in the Swiss market, income from premiums exceeds CHF 2 billion per annum. The company employs 2100 people at its headquarters in Zurich and Geneva and in its 75 regional offices.

The insurance and financial services market is document intensive. Personalised proposals and policy documents are printed and sent to customers. Inbound communication is scanned and saved to the customer record. Like many organisations, the company’s document infrastructure had grown organically with little consideration given to cost or effectiveness.


EFI Delivers High Quality, Environmentally-Friendly VUTEk Large Format Printing to Forward-Thinking ATC Groupe


“ATC needed to find an affordable solution that would allow us to increase production and quality while expanding the types of substrates choices for our customers.” — Christophe Aussenac, Co-Director, ATC Groupe

Despite the competitive marketplace in which they operate, few large-format print providers have successfully harnessed the unique blend of professionalism, responsiveness and above all passion for their trade in the same way as the Lyon-based ATC Groupe. From its beginnings in 1991 as a small producer of hand-painted signs, ATC has developed into one of France’s foremost suppliers of digitally produced indoor and outdoor large-format graphics for a host of applications.

The ATC of today has long-since outgrown the tiny garage where it initially operated. Though its 3000m2 print facility lies tucked away from view in a quiet Villeurbanne side-street, its heart continually pulsates to the rhythm of an impressive line-up of VUTEk® large format digital inkjet printers. The performance and reliability of these machines are testament to ATC’s rapid rise and importance within the domestic marketplace.


Realize Inc. and Outdoor Ukulele Hit the Right Notes

A staple in Hawaiian music, the ukulele’s name roughly translates as “jumping flea,” a tribute to the player’s fluttering fingers as they play the small, traditionally wooden instrument. It goes to say that given the busy, flea-like strumming involved, you can’t just make a “uke” out of anything. It’s got to be durable, and it’s got to sound good.

Outdoor Ukulele makes ukes designed for the outdoors, engineered for durability and tone so active uke enthusiasts around the world—backpackers, campers, mountaineers, sailors, students and more—can take them anywhere. When the company was perfecting its new tenor ukulele, they required the same durability in a quickly produced prototype. Enter Indiana rapid prototyping service provider and user of 3D Systems SLA machines, Realize Inc., which made a complete instrument for Outdoor Ukulele.

Realize Inc.’s project lead, Brian Cazzell, says that Outdoor Ukulele was having trouble finding someone who could build a full-scale prototype of its tenor ukulele using polycarbonate-like resin. The final instruments are injection-molded from glass-filled polycarbonate, and the prototype needed to be as close as possible in size and strength to the final instrument.

“Our biggest challenge with prototyping an instrument is receiving a part with the tolerances required to make it playable. The scale length and fret locations need to be exact,” said Outdoor Ukulele’s Scott Seelye. “Realize was the only company that was willing to attempt a part this size, which we would use as a working instrument.”

The Rafiki Foundation Powers Up with Fiery Print Servers to Help Orphans and Widows in Africa


Using outsourced printers for their communications and educational materials gave the Rafiki Foundation little flexibility and few creative options. They learned that a Fiery print server on a Canon digital press could solve these challenges as well as help them lower printing costs, increase the speed of their workflow, and open the door to new opportunities.

On any given day at the Rafiki Foundation (“Rafiki”) headquarters, a rhythmic hum can be heard as two Canon digital presses, powered by Fiery® digital print servers from EFI,™ steadily churn out a multitude of educational curriculum and colorful communications pieces that are forever changing the lives of orphans in Africa. In fact, in just over a year, Rafiki has printed more than 4.5 million pages of Bible study and school curriculum, and they are thrilled with the results.

Africa’s orphans are at the heart of Rafiki’s services. The Eustis, Floridabased non-profit has established ten Rafiki Training Villages – in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, and Zambia – that provide orphaned and impoverished children with a loving home, medical care, Bible studies, and education. Each Training Village is operated by overseas Rafiki staff, with help from local caretakers, national workers and short-term missionaries, and each provides up to 180 orphans with 24/7 care.

Also at the heart of Rafiki is their Widows Program, which gives many African widows the opportunity to make crafts, such as jewelry, baskets, and handbags, which Rafiki then purchases and sells through the Rafiki Exchange and on its website. Without this program, many of these widows would not have a way to support their families.


Verifying Assemblies Using CT Scans and Geomagic Solutions

Rus Emerick, Global Process Owner for 3D Imaging at Schneider Electric, spends a lot of time thinking about tolerances. Starting with tolerances of individual parts, his brain moves swiftly on to the effect of chains of tolerances that, once you get to 4, 5 or more parts in an assembly, could cumulatively affect the reliability of the products being made at any of their manufacturing and design sites in 22 countries around the world. But how can the consistency of assemblies be verified before and during production? Using traditional destructive testing was proving inefficient, slow and often did not help the team verify consistency in the parts and assemblies. Dynamic tolerance analysis of these assembled parts was even more of a challenge. Money was being wasted. There had to be a better solution and Emerick knew that 3D data would continue to provide the answers he needed.

Schneider Electric ( has been in operation for more than 170 years, evolving through iron and steel, heavy equipment and into electrical and automation management products. Products and services cover electrical distribution, industrial automation, critical power & cooling, building management and security, with manufacturing plants at key manufacturing centers across the world.

Emerick, a specialist in process improvement, is something of a trailblazer in the organization, finding and implementing solutions that are designed to improve 6 Sigma practices, working with production teams on supporting lean manufacturing techniques in an effort to reduce costs and waste in the engineering-to-production workflow. His work is to design processes that can be methodically implemented across each of the manufacturing plants, allowing best practices to become standard at each site. His focus is on verification of products using 3D data. For 10 years, he has worked very successfully with automated inspection in the production lines, using Laser Designs’ Surveyor 3D scanners and Geomagic® Control™ (formerly Geomagic Qualify®) to measure, inspect and report on products. Since the demand for better, more efficient manufacturing never lets up, so Emerick keeps the pressure on his team, some 125 strong, to find new, faster and better ways for 3D data to improve product quality.

Managed Document Services Save Hospital 30%

Ricoh provides Managed Document Services for a respected university hospital. Ricoh transformed the hospital’s document infrastructure, improving its operational efficiency by updating technology and automating workflows. Ricoh’s service-based approach has reduced internal support requirements and is saving the hospital considerable sums of money. 

Essential Technology

Ricoh’s customer, a large university hospital, has an international reputation for medical excellence, pioneering research and academic scholarship. The high-tech facility treats hundreds of thousands of patients every year, employs more than 5,000 people and provides training for medical students and doctors attending seminars.

Patients, employees and students rely upon the hospital’s information communication technology. Recognising that there was scope to improve the efficacy of its document infrastructure, the hospital tendered for a new service partner. The objectives were to improve operational efficiency and minimise cost by optimising document related services.

30% Saving

Ricoh provides Managed Document Services for a number of leading hospitals, expertly addressing the unique needs of the healthcare sector. Ricoh responded to the university hospital’s tender with a considered proposal which would see Ricoh transform and manage all facets of the hospital’s document infrastructure. 

Ricoh developed an optimised solution which prioritised workflow automation, accessibility and governance. Ricoh micromanaged a phased implementation and provides day-to-day services. Ricoh’s support has helped the hospital to improve operational efficiency whilst cutting document related costs by more than 30%.



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