Solidtec and FlexoptixPlastic housing for a modern internet transceiver

For the construction of an attractive plastic housing for a modern universal transceiver, the company Flexoptix from Darmstadt was looking for a suitable plastic manufacturer. The housing in different colors required several cutouts for various connections and should be able to accommodate an electronic component.

One option would have been additive manufacturing using 3D printing. But it quickly became clear that too many compromises would have been necessary. Finally, we were able to convince our customer of the Rapid Tooling process - the perfect solution for very quickly produced plastic parts in small series.

What is Flexoptix?

With its FLEXBOX series Flexoptix had a terrific product idea. The combination of a programming interface for fiber optic Internet with all conceivable, optical transceiver modules from various manufacturers has been a complete success since 2008. It enables the connection of almost all existing industry standards, so that the end devices in networks can communicate with each other without any problems.

The universal transceiver supports all 100G pluggables. The FLEXBOX can be configured within seconds using the manufacturer's own app.

Since 2021, an add-on, the FLEXSOX , has been available that supports new transceiver form factors as well as 200G and 400G configuration. The existing FLEXBOX is slid into the plastic housing, which is equipped with electronic components, and used with enhanced functions.

Rapid tooling: the perfect solution for Flexoptix

What was needed was a functional and attractive plastic housing that could be produced economically and completed quickly.

Because of the time-consuming post-processing and painting, the 3D printing process was ruled out, as was the noble but very expensive one-off production in CNC manufacturing. For most plastic injection molders, producing less than several hundred thousand plastic parts was out of the question in the first place.

The solution for low output quantities in near-series quality: plastic parts in rapid tooling with Solidtec.

The advantages of this injection molding process were obvious:

  • Production of a single-cavity mold made of high-strength aluminum
  • Machining of the individual plastic parts in a very short production time
  • Use of original thermoplastic material (e.g. PA, ABS, PP or PC)

The production of high-quality plastic parts at a fair price, even in small quantities - this is exactly what we have achieved for the FLEXSOX from Flexoptix.

Rewarding: Injection molded parts in small series with Solidtec

When directly comparing the costs for small series injection molded components made from aluminum molds and additive manufacturing using the SLS process, it quickly became clear to our customer: It's worth it!

From approx. 100 component sets, the costs for plastic components become lower than in the 3D printing process - despite a higher initial investment. Flexoptix already reached break-even with 84 component sets.

The production of injection molded parts in small batches thus enables an ideal price-performance ratio with very short delivery times.

You are in a similar situation and thought until now that plastic injection molding for your products is much too expensive and complex? Contact us!

With rapid tooling and the realization of plastic components in small series injection molding, we successfully fill the niche between 3D printing and large-scale production.

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