Read how this Canadian company re-engineered their signature lighting reflector using Markforged technology.
Toronto-based company Nori Equipment designs and manufactures SquareBounce, a lighting reflector designed for professional use in the film and photography industry. Nori Equipment founder Kevin C. W. Wong created SquareBounce with the needs of industry professionals in mind. He designed collapsible reflectors that are durable and lightweight, doubling as protection from the elements in outdoor environments.
“One of the major challenges of manufacturing mechanical components for the lighting reflector is that the parts need to be durable, accurate, and lightweight to keep up with the demands of professional photography and filmmaking environments,” said SquareBounce inventor Kevin Wong. Traditional manufacturing methods include mold making, casting, and machining, with the whole process averaging 10 days to produce a set of components. Due to the constraints of traditional manufacturing methods, such as long lead times, large minimum order quantities and the expenses associated with those methods, Nori Equipment began researching alternatives and came across Markforged.
“Until Markforged introduced a new way of printing reinforced fibre parts, we were only able to use 3D printing for prototyping and partially for creating molds,” Wong recalled, referencing his past experience with 3D printing technology. “Onyx with reinforced fibre allows us to create strong, beautiful, color-accurate, mechanically precise end-use parts directly from the print beds.” Nori Equipment invested in two Markforged Onyx Pro printers and have since re-engineered their product to better meet their customers’ needs.
Markforged technology cut the production time for a set of SquareBounce components down from 10 days to 1 day, virtually eliminating the need for post processing. By eliminating mold making, resin-casting and CNC machining from their process, the team has saved 4.6x per reflector. As an added bonus, Wong points out that producing these components on the Onyx Pro has resulted in a 30-40% weight reduction per unit - a huge benefit to film and photography professionals who often carry their equipment to and from set.
Besides the cost and time savings, implementing 3D printing into their production process enabled Nori Equipment to innovate faster, respond to customer feedback more quickly, and ultimately improve their product in ways that weren’t possible with traditional manufacturing. “We can now create our proprietary parts in any quantity we need at any time, as well as improve our design whenever we see a need to do so,” said Wong. “As a small company, this keeps us agile and responsive to our customers’ needs.”
Looking towards the future, Nori Equipment sees Markforged technology continuing to play an integral role in their business, aside from the end-use parts they’re printing for SquareBounce. The company has started printing jigs and fixtures to optimize their production line, and consider their printers a necessity for their business.
“It’s a great feeling to close up shop at night and know that the printers will continue to work as we sleep,” Wong said. “When we come back in the morning, end-use parts are made and ready to go. How great is that?”
Learn more about SquareBounce Lighting Reflectors by visiting their website: https://squarebounce.com/