The automotive market is dealing with needs on all fronts: the need for more recent, better-performing cars, as well as the demand to optimise production and streamline supply chains and also logistics. One modern technology that is assisting to meet these obstacles is 3D printing.
3D printing is progressively being explored throughout all areas of vehicle production. Aside from its extensive usage for quick prototyping, the modern technology is additionally being made use of to create tooling and also, in many cases, end parts.
With the range of vehicle 3D printing applications continuing to increase, below are a few of one of the most promising examples of vehicle firms using the innovation to improve their production.
1. Porsche’s 3D-printed custom-made seats
2. 3D printing for automotive braces
3. Ford 3D prints parts for high-performance Mustang Shelby GT500
4. Volkswagen Autoeuropa: 3D-printed production devices
5. 3D-printed lug nuts that conserve vehicle wheels from burglars
6. Local Motors & XEV: when traveling towards 3D-printed vehicles?
7. Greater customisation with 3D printing
8. Chasing after success: 3D printing for motorsports
9. 3D printing extra components for classic automobiles
10. Will future motorcycles be 3D-printed?
Driving the future of vehicle manufacturing
1. Porsche’s 3D-printed custom seats
3d bucket seat 1
[Picture credit rating: Porsche]
Porsche has lately presented a new concept for cars seating that leverages 3D printing and also latticework design.
The brand-new seats feature polyurethane 3D-printed central seat and back-rest pillow areas, which can be personalized by three firmness levels: hard, tool as well as soft.
With its customised seats, the German automaker is taking hints from the motorsport industry, where tailor-maked driver-specific seat installation is a standard.
Porsche intends to 3D print 40 prototype seats for use on European race tracks as early as May 2020, with customer comments being used to develop the final street-legal designs for mid-2021.
Down the line, Porsche wishes to increase seat customisation beyond firmness and colour by customising the seat to customer’s specific body shape. 3D printing presently continues to be the only technology that can enable this degree of customisation.
2. 3D printing for automotive brackets
rolls royce 3d printing metal
[Picture credit report: Rolls Royce]
Braces are small and also rather mundane components, which were challenging to optimize in the past, when designers were constrained by conventional production methods. Today, designers can develop optimised brackets and bring these designs to life with the help of 3D printing.
Rolls Royce has actually recently showcased the capacities of 3D printing for braces. The firm displayed the huge set of DfAM-optimised as well as 3D-printed auto metal parts, a lot of which look to be brackets.
Expense financial savings, faster production and layout optimization are typically the vital factors to make use of AM for brackets.
In the Rolls Royce’ example, the team had the ability to include some truly great attributes into parts, consisting of the 3D-printed trademark name and a QR code, in addition to numbers to identify the certain, one-of-a-kind, component.
Including these attributes during the manufacturing process is something that can only be attained with digital production, as no subtractive method might ever before complete in terms of the production expense and time.
Read also: Application Limelight: 3D-Printed Braces
3. Ford 3D publishes parts for high-performance Mustang Shelby GT500
Ford Electric motor Company is among the earliest adopters of 3D printing, having actually acquired the 3rd 3D printer ever made some three decades earlier.
Ford, which opened its Advanced Production Facility in 2014, has actually made actions to integrate 3D printing right into its product advancement cycle. Currently, the business is wanting to utilize the innovation for manufacturing applications.
Its newest automobile, the 2020 Shelby GT500, is one instance of this. Because of go on sale later this year, the 2020 Shelby GT500 is supposedly the most aerodynamically advanced Mustang to date.
Virtual style testing was a crucial part of the layout process for the high-performance automobile. Using virtual testing, greater than 500 cooling and wind resistant 3D styles were evaluated to allow the group to reach its downforce, stopping and also cooling targets.
When the most encouraging layouts were determined, Ford’s design team used 3D printing to develop and check models. As an example, the team printed and tested over 10 designs for front splitter wickers, which they were able to at the same time send out for examination examination.
Ford Cooling And Heating Bar Arm 3D-printed making use of Carbon’s DLS modern technology
Ford’s HVAC Lever Arm 3D-printed using Carbon’s DLS innovation [Picture credit: Ford]
Along with making use of 3D-printed prototypes for design recognition and also functional screening, the upcoming 2020 Shelby GT500 will certainly also include two architectural 3D-printed brake components. These parts were developed using Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3D printing technology and EPX (epoxy) 82 product, and have passed all of Ford’s performance criteria and also needs.
With these applications, it’s clear that Ford is laying the foundation to be able to do some rather impressive things with additive manufacturing.
” Additive production is going to continue to be ingrained increasingly more right into the day-to-day part of what we do as an organization,” Ford’s Technical Leader of AM Technologies, Harold Sears, lately described in AMFG’s Specialist Interview collection. “Rather than being an exemption to the norm, it’s going to be far more approved as the method it’s done.”
Looking ahead, it will certainly be exciting to see just how Ford remains to leverage the capacities of 3D printing to additionally boost the production of its cars.
4. Volkswagen Autoeuropa: 3D-printed manufacturing devices
3D-printed wheel security jig
Volkswagen Autoeuropa makes use of Ultimaker’s 3D printers to produce jigs as well as components for its assembly line [Picture credit: Ultimaker]
While prototyping remains the main application of 3D printing within the vehicle industry, using the modern technology for tooling is quickly catching on.
One amazing instance of this is Volkswagen, which has been utilizing 3D printing in-house for a number of years.
In 2014, the business began to pilot Ultimaker’s desktop computer 3D printers to produce tooling tools at the Volkswagen Autoeuropa manufacturing facility in Portugal. Considering that the success of the pilot, Volkswagen has actually changed its tooling manufacturing practically completely to 3D printing.
Making use of the modern technology for this application brings a number of benefits.
Producing its tooling internally decreases tool production costs for the auto maker by 90%– and cuts lead times from weeks to just a few days. To take one example, a device like a liftgate badge would supposedly take 35 days to create making use of conventional manufacturing as well as set you back approximately EUR400. With 3D printing, the exact same device can be produced in four days at an expense of just EUR10.
Using 3D printing for tooling is claimed to have actually conserved Volkswagen virtually EUR325,000 in 2017, whilst improving ergonomics, performance as well as driver fulfillment.
When it concerns manufacturing aids, 3D printing is rapidly growing as an alternate to much more established ways of production tools. In a few years, we’ll likely see even more automotive OEMs changing to 3D-printed tooling to improve the effectiveness of their production as well as the performance of their tools.
Read also: 6 Ways to Improve Production Efficiency with 3D Printed Jigs and also Components
5. 3D-printed lug nuts that save vehicle wheels from thieves
3d published wheel locks by ford and eos
[Image credit report: Ford Motor Co.
] Just how to quit burglars from taking auto wheels? Ford is answering that question with a program in Europe to 3D print personalized locking wheel lug nuts for autos that are much more resistant to theft.
Typically, automobiles will have a solitary securing lug nut per wheel to prevent its elimination without the unique crucial attached to the lug wrench. But these can be defeated, so Ford is 3D printing patterns for its locks that can not be duplicated as easily.
Making use of 3D printers from EOS, Ford produces locks utilizing a custom-made pattern for each consumer. Utilizing an acoustic wave pattern from a simple sentence, it’s feasible to produce a completely one-of-a-kind pattern that offers an added layer of safety and security in a similar style to finger print recognition.
When designed, the lock and also the key are 3D-printed as a solitary stainless-steel component. After reducing both apart, they need just a little polishing to work.
The benefit of these locks is that they are virtually impossible to duplicate. With erratically spaced ribs inside the nut as well as indentations that wide the much deeper they go in, it’s difficult for burglars to make a wax impact of these locks without breaking the wax.
Making wheels a lot more protected and using even more item personalisation are additional evidence that 3D printing is a game-changer for car production.
6. Local Motors & XEV: when driving towards 3D-printed autos?
The bottom half of the 3D-printed independent vehicle, Olli
The bottom half of Olli, the 3D-printed autonomous shuttle bus [Image credit scores: Resident Motors]
While still some method away, a variety of companies are striving to make fully 3D-printed vehicles a reality. Neighborhood Motors, based in Arizona, is one firm with a goal to 3D printing entire cars possible.
The firm made a sprinkle in 2014 when it revealed what it claimed to be the first-ever 3D-printed electrical automobile– Strati– at the International Production Innovation Program (IMTS). The automobile was manufactured in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) as well as Cincinnati, Inc
. Two years later, Citizen Motors introduced Olli, a 3D-printed, self-governing electrical shuttle bus developed for local, low-speed transport. The shuttle has been designed mostly for use in city centres in cities, service and also university campuses and also medical facilities.
So how has the business attained this?
Citizen Motors utilized several of the world’s biggest 3D printers– ORNL’s Huge Location Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) as well as Thermwood’s Huge Scale Ingredient Production (LSAM) makers– to produce the majority of Olli’s elements, including the roofing system as well as reduced body of the car.
Likewise, Strati was printed making use of Cincinnati, Inc.’s large-scale 3D printer, as well as took only 44 hours to complete. The wheels and hubcaps of the car were created using a straight steel 3D printing process.
Given that Olli was first introduced, Resident Motors has actually tested over 2,000 combinations of printing material and strengthening ingredients, and also is now able to publish the entire minibus in approximately 10 hours.
Local Motors associates its success to its ‘digital vehicle production model’. This company model allows the company to bring products to market in a totally new method by co-creating new designs with a worldwide neighborhood of specialists. The business uses digital manufacturing technologies, like 3D printing, to produce and put together lorries in neighborhood microfactories.
3D printing is an all-natural fit to this distributed manufacturing model, as it gives a means to promptly repeat layouts, personalize components as well as products on an as-needed basis, conserving sources as well as lowering the requirement to keep the stock.
While it will certainly take some time to see fully 3D-printed vehicles on the roads, tasks like Local Motors’ Olli might take us one action closer to that interesting possibility.
Regional Motors is not the only firm pursuing 3D-printed cars and trucks. Likewise, Italian automaker, XEV, is developing a low-speed electric LSEV car with the help of 3D printing
Using large-format FDM innovation as well as 4 various grades of polyamide as well as TPU, the business has the ability to lower its manufacturing prices by 70% and also make the most of the lightweighting 3D printing offers.
The completed LSEV evaluates just 450 kilograms and features just 57 plastic components, implying it can be produced in an issue of days. XEV has actually also made the decision to create 2,000 of its very own large-format extrusion 3D printers to make use of inside its manufacturing facilities for manufacturing.
While automation of the lorry will certainly start later this year, pre-orders have already been made by Italian post office, Article Italiane, that has commissioned 5,000 personalized automobiles for its operations.
7. Greater customisation with 3D printing.
With the expanding demand for customised items as well as personal experiences, car manufacturers are progressively providing their consumers the capacity to personalize their automobiles.
One means to make this customisation financially feasible is with 3D printing.
Japan’s earliest vehicle manufacturer, Daihatsu, launched an automobile customisation project for its Copen auto model in 2016.
In collaboration with Stratasys, Daihatsu customers can make and also purchase custom 3D-printed panels for their front and rear bumpers, with a selection of greater than 15 base patterns in 10 different colours.
The personalized parts are published with ASA, a long lasting and UV-resistant polycarbonate, using Stratasys’ Fortus 3D printers. The ability to produce personal, one-off designs quickly and also cost-effectively was among the crucial factors for choosing 3D printing over typical processes.
In Europe, Volkswagen is now applying HP’s Steel Jet technology with an eye towards tailor-maked steel components such as tailgates, gear-shift knobs as well as vital rings.
The company prepares to offer its clients the alternative of adding individualised lettering to these components. Volkswagen also notes that these customised parts will serve as an evidence of idea for creating 3D-printed structural parts for its autos within the next 2 to 3 years.
One benefit of using 3D printing for customisation is that it enables car manufacturers to minimize preparations and also manufacturing expenses for low-volume components. This is partially due to the fact that the technology removes the demand to produce specific tooling aids for each personal component– a prospect that would certainly be financially impractical.
Going forward, car manufacturers will certainly still need to establish more usage situations for tailor-maked 3D-printed elements to go beyond basic trim components. That claimed, as the technology developments, the possibilities for vehicle customisation with 3D printing look readied to expand at a much greater speed over the next few years.
Read additionally: 3D Printing as well as Mass Customisation: Where Are We Today?
8. Chasing victory: 3D printing for motorsports
Volkswagen Motorsport ID. R Pikes Peak auto examined in the wind tunnel
Volkswagen Motorsport’s I.D. R Pikes Peak racing auto is created making use of over 2000 3D-printed parts for screening [Image credit report: Volkswagen]
In Solution One auto racing, just how a race cars and truck executes will certainly usually mean the distinction in between a win or a loss. Nonetheless, crafting an effective race car is a difficulty, not least as a result of the high prices entailed and also the fast advancement cycle needed.
Wind tunnel screening is among the important stages of the race auto development process.
Car manufacturers utilize wind tunnels to verify and adjust the aerodynamic properties of a race auto. Throughout the wind tunnel testing stage, a version of an automobile is placed on a treadmill to check just how the vehicle will perform in a simulated auto racing atmosphere.
Presently, 3D printing is most frequently used within motorsports to produce parts to be evaluated out on this replica race auto. For example, Swiss Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team is reported to have actually used a 60% scale design of a Formula 1 race vehicle, with a number of its components 3D printed with SLS as well as shanty town innovations.
Designers at Sauber are able to publish parts like front wings, brake ducts, suspension as well as engine covers much faster and also with higher style adaptability than conventional manufacturing would certainly permit.
Another example originates from Volkswagen Motorsport, which made use of 3D printing for the growth of its electric I.D. R Pikes Height race auto. Having only 8 months to develop the vehicle, the Volkswagen group bank on 3D printing to quicken the process and meet its growth deadlines.
The modern technology was made use of to produce parts for the 50% range version of the I.D. R Pikes Peak cars and truck. Around 2,000 individual components for the wind tunnel model have actually been produced, with components created within a few days instead of the weeks it would certainly take with CNC machining or moulding.
By enabling an exceptionally adaptable and really quick development procedure, 3D printing has actually assisted Volkswagen Motorsport to obtain the automobile when traveling on schedule. And also this effort was recently compensated: simply last year, the I.D. R Pikes Peak race automobile set a new record for the hill climb in Pikes Height racing.
With confirmed effectiveness in lowering advancement times, 3D printing is currently making its means right into end-part applications that can supply racing teams considerable performance benefits.
9. 3D printing extra components for classic cars
3D-printed substitute components for Porsche vintage cars
Porsche 3D prints multiple spare components for its classic cars [Photo credit score: Porsche]
Spare parts are yet an additional application of 3D printing in automobile– and one Porsche Standard is maximizing.
The division of the German cars and truck business provides parts for its vintage and out-of-production models, as well as is utilizing 3D printing to create uncommon, low-volume extra parts for its older stock.
A number of these parts are no longer in production, as well as the tooling called for to manufacture them either do not exist or are in bad problem. Production new tooling aids with traditional methods is inherently cost-prohibitive, especially considering the low volumes concerned.
With a view to fixing these challenges, Porsche Standard has begun to 3D print these parts (in metal and also plastic) on demand.
The printing process involves thawing the steel powder (or sintering for plastics) with a high-energy laser light beam in a specific pattern, therefore building the three-dimensional things up one layer each time. The advantage is that parts can be made without any additional tools as well as just when required, helping Porsche to save on tooling as well as storage space prices related to making these spares making use of conventional techniques.
3D printing parts that are hardly ever gotten or stopped being produced is a growing pattern within the automotive supply chain. Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Volkswagen as well as BMW are additionally embracing 3D printing for this application, enabling the carmakers to cut expenses, increase operational effectiveness and also optimize stock.
So these were all great instances of 3d printing in the vehicle parts (pezzi di ricambio) market.