TCL Hofmann has been appointed as a Stratasys Platinum Partner in Australia and New Zealand as it seeks to help Australian enterprises continue their digital manufacturing transformation journeys.

TCL Hofmann joined the Stratasys channel network since 2019 and has supplied leading-edge 3D printing technologies to manufacturing companies and organisations to help them upscale their businesses and optimise results. With strong teams in Melbourne and Sydney, and sister company TCL Hunt in New Zealand’s major cities, TCL Hofmann’s success has developed from the broad supply of quality products to a range of industries through to the highest levels of service and advisory, pre- and post-sale support, and servicing.

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the manufacturing industry, testing the resilience and flexibility of manufacturers across the globe as they deal with high levels of uncertainty in production scheduling, raw material sourcing and workforce dependency. TCL Hofmann has demonstrated its ability in delivering a strong customer service experience, and its appointment as a Stratasys Platinum Partner comes at a time when more and more Australian enterprises are embracing 3D printing. Organisations such as Cobalt Design, the Walkinshaw Andretti United (WAU) motor-racing team and Bendigo Tech School have successfully adopted Stratasys technologies.

Award-winning product development group Cobalt increased its industrial design and prototyping agility by bringing two Stratasys F-series 3D printers in-house, for look-and-feel conceptualisation, mock-up development, form-fit-function tests and customer presentation purposes. While working with clients to overcome technical requirements, engineers at Cobalt leveraged the F170 and F270 3D printers to visualise geometries of clients’ requests using real thermoplastics such as ABS, TPU, and carbon-fibre infused plastics. Coupled with a Technology Adoption and Innovation Program sponsored by the Victorian Government and customer support and post-sale application consultation from TCL Hofmann, Cobalt delivers high-quality prototypes and impeccable designs to its clients.

While engineering companies gain prototyping and design capabilities with 3D printers, manufacturers find high-performance 3D printing materials helpful in replacing tools that have malfunctioned or are difficult to obtain. An example such as the supercars champion WAU demonstrates that FDM 3D printers can produce high-strength fixtures and end-use vehicle parts that are tailor-made to endure the extreme demands of motor-racing.

“3D printing technology is essential in the way we build and manufacture development parts for our supercars, so our entire team is excited to have the right tools at hand to be able to chase the ultimate glory,” said WAU Team Principal Bruce Stewart.

Working with a partner that can offer industry knowledge, innovative solution and a local footprint in the manufacturing world has brought extensive benefits to both Cobalt and WAU. However, as well as catering to these organisations’ imminent needs, 3D printing also demonstrates significant potential in preparation for future challenges and new roles.

Innovation hubs such as Bendigo Tech School are inspiring the next generation of engineering and advanced manufacturing workers with cutting-edge 3D printing technology. The Stratasys J55 Prime is a full-colour, high-fidelity professional 3D printer, with tactile, functional and sensory capabilities that allows Bendigo Tech School to enhance its innovative prototyping and entrepreneurship programs with expert application knowledge from TCL Hofmann.

Bendigo Tech School uses advanced STEM knowledge and skills to empower Victorian school students to develop the skills and capabilities they need for jobs of the future. The J55 is a resourceful tool that inspires students, teachers and staff to create original designs and acquire problem-solving skills through 3D printing. Bendigo Tech School is thrilled to partner with TCL Hofmann to bring its full range of 3D printing technology closer to local educators and student initiatives, thereby nurturing the next generation to follow careers in STEM-related industries.