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At a recent creative event held in Shanghai to mark the Dragon Boat Festival, a 3D-printed mascot of Mr. Hema drove a Wuling Hongguang MINIEV loaded with Zongzi snail powder. Wuling, an established automobile brand in China (part of a joint venture with GM), partnered with Fresh Hema, a popular retail brand from tech giant Alibaba, to celebrate and market a new flavor of Zongzi, a traditional Chinese rice dish made from glutinous rice filled with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves. The newly introduced flavor, based on snail noodles, has been repeatedly researched and further developed.
Wuling and Hema are both well-known brands in China and have strict requirements for the quality of their branded mascots. Chinese 3D printer maker UnionTech produced the 3D printed mascot using two industrial-grade SLA 3D printing systems, the RSPro 2100 and RSPro 1400, to meet the challenges of large-scale printing in modeling curved surfaces. Combined with extensive data processing experience, the company uses meticulous post-processing technology to solve the difficulty of surface color restoration. The finished printed mascot model showed low shrinkage, optimal texture and three-dimensional surface details, which were praised by both Wuling and Hema representatives.
As the event takes place outdoors, the 3D printed mascots also had to adapt to different weather conditions. For this project UnionTech used the high temperature resistant materials of the UF-H series to cope with the drastic weather changes. Additionally, UnionTech’s post-treatment spray paint engineers used more than a dozen exterior paints and hand-painting techniques, which not only improved weather resistance, but also made the mascot look even more realistic.
The RSPro 2100 and RSPro 1400 3D printers are both large-format SLA systems. The RSPro 2100 can print parts up to a size of 2100 mm x 700 mm x 800 mm. The three-laser scanning system is suitable for the industrial production of large, high-quality finished parts as well as for the mass production of several smaller parts.
For this project in particular, UnionTech uses its own Unionfab platform, a 3D printing cloud manufacturing SAAS platform that outsources 3D printing factory functions and provides intelligent upgrades quickly and cost-effectively with functions such as Auto BP & Batch Remote Print, data-supported systems , intelligent production planning, digital device management and data analysis. UnionTech engineers estimated that using traditional manufacturing techniques to create the same mascot would take up to 30 days, while Unionfab could produce it in just 7 days.