In the ultra competitive automotive trade every advantage that can be obtained is essential. Whilst realising economies of scale is one objective, shortening the development process and going through the iteration cycle with limited cost penalties can be equally beneficial. Additive manufacturing techniques allow ideas to be tested and communicated more efficiently and enable users to innovate with less restrictions.
As many of the race teams involved in motorsport are credited with developing techniques that become part of mass produced vehicles it’s obvious to draw a link between the pursuit of improved performance and innovation. More and more automotive companies are using additive manufacturing to stay ahead of the competition and drive more efficiency into their processes.
Volkswagen Autoeuropa – A Real World 3D Printing Success Story
Maximizing production efficiency with 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures
Achieving a 91% cost reduction and 95% time savings
By using 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures, Volkswagen Autoeuropa reduces cycle time operation, labour, and the need for reworking, while improving tool ergonomics. Furthermore, they achieve this at a tenth of the usual cost. The company estimates that they are on track to save €250,000 by the end of 2017.
Volkswagen Saving Costs using Ultimaker 3D Printers
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Used during the positioning and screw assembly to prevent scratches /damage to the wheels. Without this protection, scrap cost can be huge.
Why choose a 3D Printer in the Automotive Industry?
- Eliminate Ambiguity – Hold a real-life model of the concept
- Improve Time Efficiency – Print both batches and bespoke pieces, let the print do the work for you
- Achieve Authenticity – Recreate textures, finishes and colours to add even further dimension
- Attain Complex Geometries – Realise your most complex and intricate designs
- Minimal Running Costs – By using up to 90% of the raw material, attain maximum cost-effectiveness
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3D Printing Applications in Automotive
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