Streamlining Elho’s Product Development With End-Use Material Prototypes

Project name: Dutch horticultural brand Elho work with Ricoh to test synthetic pottery prototypes for final shape and size, as well as real life functionality.

Summary | Using Ricoh’s 3D printing services, Elho were able to enhance their product development cycle for their leading range of plant pots and garden equipment.

The problem | Elho are a market leader for plant care related products; selling a range of equipment online and in garden centres and DIY stores across Europe including plant pots, planters and plant care products.

Elho are constantly adapting and improving the designs of their products. They need a way to validate their designs by creating prototypes quickly and efficiently – and in the same material as they would ultimately be as an end product.

The solution | Ricoh were able to test the products’ form, fit and function through 3D printing.

Using the AM S5500P Selective Laser Sintering technology, Ricoh worked with the company, which has shared sustainable material values, to create highly aesthetic, yet functional, prototype parts.

The prototypes were produced in Ricoh’s highly-sought-after polypropylene material, which is perfectly suited to plant pots and garden equipment given its resistance to chemicals and its watertight properties.

Crucially, polypropylene allowed Elho to prototype products in their final end-use material.

Ricoh’s service streamlines Elho’s product development cycle by producing prototypes which are identical to the final end product in both material and performance – getting the products to market faster.