The vehicle industry is dealing with needs on all fronts: the demand for newer, better-performing vehicles, as well as the demand to optimize manufacturing as well as simplify supply chains and logistics. One modern technology that is helping to fulfill these challenges is 3D printing.
3D printing is significantly being explored across all areas of auto manufacturing. Other than its considerable use for fast prototyping, the modern technology is additionally being used to generate tooling as well as, in many cases, end parts.
With the series of automobile 3D printing applications remaining to broaden, below are several of the most appealing examples of vehicle companies using the innovation to boost their manufacturing.
1. Porsche’s 3D-printed custom seats
2. 3D printing for automobile brackets
3. Ford 3D prints parts for high-performance Mustang Shelby GT500
4. Volkswagen Autoeuropa: 3D-printed production tools
5. 3D-printed lug nuts that conserve cars and truck wheels from burglars
6. Citizen Motors & XEV: when driving towards 3D-printed autos?
7. Greater customisation with 3D printing
8. Chasing success: 3D printing for motorsports
9. 3D printing spare components for classic automobiles
10. Will future motorbikes be 3D-printed?
Driving the future of auto manufacturing
1. Porsche’s 3D-printed custom-made seats
3d bucket seat 1
[Picture credit report: Porsche]
Porsche has actually just recently presented a new idea for sports car seating that leverages 3D printing as well as lattice style.
The new seats feature polyurethane 3D-printed central seat and also back-rest padding sections, which can be customised by three firmness degrees: hard, tool and soft.
With its customised seats, the German car manufacturer is taking signs from the motorsport field, where personalized driver-specific seat fitting is a norm.
Porsche prepares to 3D print 40 model seats for usage on European race course as very early as May 2020, with customer feedback being used to create the final street-legal designs for mid-2021.
Down the line, Porsche wishes to broaden seat customisation beyond suppleness and colour by personalising the seat to consumer’s specific body shape. 3D printing currently continues to be the only technology that can enable this degree of customisation.
2. 3D printing for auto brackets
rolls royce 3d printing metal
[Picture credit rating: Rolls Royce]
Braces are little and also instead mundane components, which were difficult to optimise in the past, when engineers were constrained by conventional manufacturing methods. Today, designers can make optimised brackets as well as bring these designs to life with the help of 3D printing.
Rolls Royce has just recently showcased the abilities of 3D printing for brackets. The firm displayed the large set of DfAM-optimised and also 3D-printed vehicle steel parts, most of which look to be braces.
Price financial savings, faster production as well as design optimization are generally the crucial reasons to make use of AM for brackets.
In the Rolls Royce’ instance, the group had the ability to incorporate some actually amazing attributes into components, including the 3D-printed trademark name and also a QR code, together with numbers to recognize the particular, distinct, component.
Adding these features throughout the manufacturing procedure is something that can just be attained with digital production, as no subtractive technique could ever compete in terms of the manufacturing expense as well as time.
Read additionally: Application Limelight: 3D-Printed Brackets
3. Ford 3D publishes components for high-performance Mustang Shelby GT500
Ford Electric motor Business is just one of the earliest adopters of 3D printing, having actually bought the 3rd 3D printer ever made some 30 years earlier.
Ford, which opened its Advanced Production Center in 2014, has made steps to incorporate 3D printing into its item development cycle. Now, the company is seeking to utilize the modern technology for producing applications.
Its latest automobile, the 2020 Shelby GT500, is one example of this. As a result of take place sale later this year, the 2020 Shelby GT500 is supposedly the most aerodynamically advanced Mustang to day.
Digital design testing was a crucial part of the layout procedure for the high-performance vehicle. Using digital testing, more than 500 air conditioning as well as wind resistant 3D designs were evaluated to enable the group to reach its downforce, braking and cooling down targets.
Once one of the most encouraging designs were determined, Ford’s engineering team used 3D printing to develop as well as test models. For example, the group published and also examined over 10 styles for front splitter wickers, which they had the ability to at the same time send for examination evaluation.
Ford HVAC Lever Arm 3D-printed utilizing Carbon’s DLS innovation
Ford’s heating and cooling Lever Arm 3D-printed utilizing Carbon’s DLS modern technology [Photo credit: Ford]
Along with using 3D-printed prototypes for design validation and also practical testing, the upcoming 2020 Shelby GT500 will certainly likewise feature two structural 3D-printed brake parts. These parts were developed utilizing Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3D printing modern technology as well as EPX (epoxy) 82 product, as well as have actually passed every one of Ford’s efficiency standards and also needs.
With these applications, it’s clear that Ford is laying the foundation to be able to do some pretty impressive points with additive production.
” Additive manufacturing is going to continue to be instilled increasingly more right into the everyday part of what we do as a company,” Ford’s Technical Leader of AM Technologies, Harold Sears, just recently discussed in AMFG’s Specialist Meeting series. “Rather than being an exemption to the standard, it’s mosting likely to be far more accepted as the method it’s done.”
Looking ahead, it will certainly be amazing to see exactly how Ford continues to take advantage of the capacities of 3D printing to additionally boost the production of its lorries.
4. Volkswagen Autoeuropa: 3D-printed production tools
3D-printed wheel protection jig
Volkswagen Autoeuropa makes use of Ultimaker’s 3D printers to develop jigs and fixtures for its production line [Image credit report: Ultimaker]
While prototyping remains the main application of 3D printing within the automotive sector, making use of the modern technology for tooling is swiftly catching on.
One interesting example of this is Volkswagen, which has actually been utilizing 3D printing in-house for a variety of years.
In 2014, the business began to pilot Ultimaker’s desktop computer 3D printers to produce tooling tools at the Volkswagen Autoeuropa factory in Portugal. Considering that the success of the pilot, Volkswagen has actually changed its tooling manufacturing almost completely to 3D printing.
Making use of the innovation for this application brings a variety of benefits.
Making its tooling internally reduces device production expenses for the automobile manufacturer by 90%– as well as cuts lead times from weeks to simply a few days. To take one example, a tool like a liftgate badge would supposedly take 35 days to establish making use of traditional manufacturing as well as cost approximately EUR400. With 3D printing, the very same device can be generated in 4 days at a cost of just EUR10.
Using 3D printing for tooling is stated to have actually saved Volkswagen virtually EUR325,000 in 2017, whilst improving ergonomics, efficiency as well as operator satisfaction.
When it involves producing aids, 3D printing is quickly growing as an alternate to more established ways of manufacturing tools. In a few years, we’ll likely see even more vehicle OEMs changing to 3D-printed tooling to boost the performance of their production and also the performance of their tools.
Read additionally: 6 Ways to Enhance Production Efficiency with 3D Printed Jigs and also Fixtures
5. 3D-printed lug nuts that save automobile wheels from thieves
3d published wheel locks by ford and eos
[Photo credit rating: Ford Electric motor Co.
] Just how to quit burglars from taking auto wheels? Ford is addressing that inquiry with a program in Europe to 3D print custom-made securing wheel lug nuts for vehicles that are much more resistant to theft.
Normally, cars will have a solitary locking lug nut per wheel to prevent its removal without the unique crucial affixed to the lug wrench. However these can be beat, so Ford is 3D printing patterns for its locks that can not be duplicated as quickly.
Using 3D printers from EOS, Ford creates locks utilizing a custom pattern for each and every customer. Using a sound wave pattern from a basic sentence, it’s feasible to create a completely special pattern that offers an included layer of security in a similar fashion to fingerprint recognition.
As soon as made, the lock as well as the key are 3D-printed as a single stainless-steel component. After reducing the two apart, they need just a little polishing to function.
The benefit of these locks is that they are basically impossible to clone. With erratically spaced ribs inside the nut as well as imprints that wide the much deeper they go in, it’s difficult for thieves to make a wax impact of these locks without breaking the wax.
Making wheels much more safe and also providing more item personalisation are additional evidence that 3D printing is a game-changer for automobile production.
6. Local Motors & XEV: on the road in the direction of 3D-printed automobiles?
The bottom fifty percent of the 3D-printed independent automobile, Olli
The bottom half of Olli, the 3D-printed self-governing shuttle bus [Image credit scores: Local Motors]
While still some means away, a number of companies are aiming to make fully 3D-printed autos a reality. Neighborhood Motors, based in Arizona, is one firm with an objective to 3D printing whole automobiles possible.
The company made a sprinkle in 2014 when it introduced what it asserted to be the first-ever 3D-printed electric automobile– Strati– at the International Production Innovation Show (IMTS). The cars and truck was manufactured in partnership with Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) as well as Cincinnati, Inc
. Two years later, Local Motors introduced Olli, a 3D-printed, self-governing electric shuttle created for regional, low-speed transport. The shuttle bus has actually been designed largely for usage in city centres in cities, organization and college campuses as well as healthcare facilities.
So how has the company achieved this?
Resident Motors used some of the globe’s biggest 3D printers– ORNL’s Huge Location Ingredient Manufacturing (BAAM) and also Thermwood’s Huge Range Additive Production (LSAM) machines– to create the majority of Olli’s parts, consisting of the roof and lower body of the vehicle.
Similarly, Strati was printed using Cincinnati, Inc.’s large-scale 3D printer, and also took just 44 hours to finish. The wheels as well as hubcaps of the automobile were created making use of a direct steel 3D printing process.
Given that Olli was first presented, Local Motors has actually checked over 2,000 mixes of printing product as well as fortifying additives, as well as is now able to publish the entire minibus in about 10 hrs.
Citizen Motors attributes its success to its ‘digital vehicle manufacturing version’. This service version makes it possible for the company to bring items to market in a totally brand-new way by co-creating brand-new styles with a worldwide area of specialists. The business makes use of digital production technologies, like 3D printing, to manufacture and assemble automobiles in neighborhood microfactories.
3D printing is a natural fit to this dispersed manufacturing version, as it supplies a method to rapidly iterate layouts, tailor-make components and products on an as-needed basis, saving resources and also minimizing the demand to keep the inventory.
While it will certainly take a while to see totally 3D-printed cars when traveling, jobs like Citizen Motors’ Olli might take us one step better to that amazing opportunity.
Local Motors is not the only firm seeking 3D-printed vehicles. In a similar way, Italian car manufacturer, XEV, is creating a low-speed electric LSEV cars and truck with the help of 3D printing
Utilizing large-format FDM innovation as well as 4 various grades of polyamide and TPU, the company is able to reduce its production prices by 70% and benefit from the lightweighting 3D printing offers.
The ended up LSEV considers only 450 kilograms and functions just 57 plastic parts, suggesting it can be produced in a matter of days. XEV has actually also decided to create 2,000 of its very own large-format extrusion 3D printers to make use of inside its factories for production.
While automation of the automobile will certainly start later this year, pre-orders have already been made by Italian post office, Post Italiane, that has appointed 5,000 tailor-maked lorries for its operations.
7. Greater customisation with 3D printing.
With the expanding demand for customised items and also personal experiences, car manufacturers are progressively supplying their customers the capacity to personalize their vehicles.
One way to make this customisation economically feasible is with 3D printing.
Japan’s oldest car maker, Daihatsu, released a car customisation task for its Copen car model in 2016.
In partnership with Stratasys, Daihatsu customers can create and also buy customized 3D-printed panels for their front and also rear bumpers, with a choice of more than 15 base patterns in 10 different colours.
The customised parts are published with ASA, a sturdy and UV-resistant thermoplastic, using Stratasys’ Fortus 3D printers. The capacity to create customised, one-off styles promptly as well as cost-effectively was just one of the key factors for picking 3D printing over standard procedures.
In Europe, Volkswagen is currently carrying out HP’s Steel Jet innovation with an eye towards personalized metal parts such as tailgates, gear-shift handles and also crucial rings.
The company intends to give its consumers the option of including individualised lettering to these elements. Volkswagen additionally notes that these personalised components will function as a proof of concept for developing 3D-printed architectural parts for its cars and trucks within the following 2 to 3 years.
One benefit of using 3D printing for customisation is that it permits automakers to minimize lead times as well as manufacturing costs for low-volume parts. This is partially since the modern technology removes the requirement to create private tooling aids for every personalised component– a prospect that would certainly be monetarily impractical.
Going forward, automakers will certainly still need to develop even more use situations for customised 3D-printed elements to go beyond basic trim parts. That stated, as the technology advancements, the possibilities for vehicle customisation with 3D printing appearance set to expand at a much better pace over the following couple of years.
Read also: 3D Printing as well as Mass Customisation: Where Are We Today?
8. Chasing after success: 3D printing for motorsports
Volkswagen Motorsport ID. R Pikes Peak auto examined in the wind passage
Volkswagen Motorsport’s I.D. R Pikes Peak auto racing car is developed making use of over 2000 3D-printed components for testing [Photo credit rating: Volkswagen]
In Formula One auto racing, how a race auto performs will certainly frequently imply the distinction in between a win or a loss. Nevertheless, crafting an effective race cars and truck is a challenge, not least because of the high prices entailed and the rapid growth cycle needed.
Wind tunnel testing is one of the essential phases of the race automobile advancement procedure.
Car manufacturers use wind tunnels to confirm as well as change the wind resistant residential properties of a race vehicle. Throughout the wind tunnel testing stage, a design of a car is positioned on a treadmill to test exactly how the automobile will execute in a simulated auto racing environment.
Presently, 3D printing is most typically made use of within motorsports to produce parts to be tested out on this replica race auto. For example, Swiss Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team is reported to have used a 60% scale model of a Formula 1 race auto, with a lot of its parts 3D printed with SLS and run-down neighborhood technologies.
Designers at Sauber are able to print parts like front wings, brake air ducts, suspension and also engine covers much faster and with greater layout versatility than typical production would certainly enable.
An additional instance originates from Volkswagen Motorsport, which utilized 3D printing for the advancement of its electric I.D. R Pikes Height race cars and truck. Having just 8 months to establish the car, the Volkswagen group bank on 3D printing to quicken the procedure and also satisfy its advancement target dates.
The technology was utilized to generate parts for the 50% range model of the I.D. R Pikes Top auto. Around 2,000 private components for the wind tunnel design have been manufactured, with parts created within a couple of days rather than the weeks it would certainly take with CNC machining or moulding.
By allowing an extremely flexible and also extremely rapid advancement process, 3D printing has actually aided Volkswagen Motorsport to get the vehicle when driving on time. As well as this initiative was lately awarded: just in 2015, the I.D. R Pikes Height race vehicle set a new document for the hill climb in Pikes Height racing.
With confirmed effectiveness in decreasing growth times, 3D printing is now making its means into end-part applications that might offer competing teams considerable efficiency advantages.
9. 3D printing spare components for classic cars
3D-printed substitute parts for Porsche classic automobiles
Porsche 3D publishes several extra parts for its vintage cars [Picture credit rating: Porsche]
Spare components are yet one more application of 3D printing in automobile– and also one Porsche Standard is maximizing.
The department of the German cars and truck company provides parts for its vintage as well as out-of-production models, as well as is making use of 3D printing to create unusual, low-volume extra parts for its older inventory.
Much of these parts are no longer in manufacturing, and also the tooling needed to manufacture them either do not exist or remain in poor condition. Production brand-new tooling aids with typical techniques is inherently cost-prohibitive, especially considering the low quantities in question.
With a view to fixing these obstacles, Porsche Standard has started to 3D print these parts (in steel as well as plastic) on demand.
The printing process involves melting the metal powder (or sintering for plastics) with a high-energy laser light beam in an exact pattern, thus constructing the three-dimensional object up one layer at once. The benefit is that parts can be made without any added tools as well as just when needed, helping Porsche to save on tooling as well as storage costs related to making these spares using standard approaches.
3D printing parts that are rarely gotten or quit being produced is a growing trend within the auto supply chain. Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Volkswagen and also BMW are likewise welcoming 3D printing for this application, enabling the carmakers to cut costs, rise operational performance and optimise stock.
So these were all fine examples of 3d printing in the car components (pezzi di ricambio) market.