The automotive market is facing demands on all fronts: the demand for newer, better-performing vehicles, as well as the requirement to optimise production and also improve supply chains and logistics. One modern technology that is aiding to satisfy these challenges is 3D printing.
3D printing is increasingly being explored throughout all areas of automotive manufacturing. Aside from its substantial use for fast prototyping, the innovation is likewise being made use of to generate tooling and, sometimes, end parts.
With the variety of vehicle 3D printing applications remaining to increase, below are a few of one of the most appealing examples of automotive firms using the modern technology to enhance their manufacturing.
1. Porsche’s 3D-printed customized seats
2. 3D printing for vehicle brackets
3. Ford 3D publishes parts for high-performance Mustang Shelby GT500
4. Volkswagen Autoeuropa: 3D-printed production tools
5. 3D-printed lug nuts that conserve car wheels from thieves
6. Local Motors & XEV: when traveling in the direction of 3D-printed cars?
7. Greater customisation with 3D printing
8. Chasing success: 3D printing for motorsports
9. 3D printing extra parts for classic automobiles
10. Will future bikes be 3D-printed?
Driving the future of automotive manufacturing
1. Porsche’s 3D-printed personalized seats
3d container seat 1
[Image credit: Porsche]
Porsche has just recently presented a brand-new principle for cars seating that leverages 3D printing and also latticework design.
The brand-new seats include polyurethane 3D-printed main seat and back-rest cushion sections, which can be personalized by three firmness degrees: hard, tool and soft.
With its personal seats, the German car manufacturer is taking cues from the motorsport sector, where personalized driver-specific seat installation is a standard.
Porsche plans to 3D print 40 model seats for usage on European race tracks as very early as May 2020, with customer comments being utilized to develop the final street-legal versions for mid-2021.
Down the line, Porsche wishes to broaden seat customisation beyond firmness and colour by customising the seat to consumer’s details body contour. 3D printing presently remains the only modern technology that can enable this degree of customisation.
2. 3D printing for auto braces
rolls royce 3d printing metal
[Picture credit score: Rolls Royce]
Brackets are small and also rather mundane components, which were difficult to optimise in the past, when engineers were constricted by standard production approaches. Today, engineers can develop optimised brackets and also bring these styles to life with the help of 3D printing.
Rolls Royce has recently showcased the abilities of 3D printing for braces. The business showed off the huge set of DfAM-optimised as well as 3D-printed automobile metal parts, a number of which seem braces.
Price financial savings, faster production and design optimisation are usually the crucial reasons to use AM for brackets.
In the Rolls Royce’ instance, the group had the ability to include some truly trendy features into components, consisting of the 3D-printed brand and a QR code, in addition to numbers to identify the specific, unique, component.
Adding these features during the production process is something that can just be attained with electronic production, as no subtractive method could ever before compete in terms of the manufacturing cost and also time.
Read also: Application Limelight: 3D-Printed Brackets
3. Ford 3D publishes parts for high-performance Mustang Shelby GT500
Ford Electric motor Firm is just one of the earliest adopters of 3D printing, having actually bought the third 3D printer ever before made some 30 years earlier.
Ford, which opened its Advanced Manufacturing Center last year, has made actions to incorporate 3D printing right into its item growth cycle. Currently, the company is aiming to utilize the innovation for making applications.
Its newest vehicle, the 2020 Shelby GT500, is one example of this. Because of go on sale later this year, the 2020 Shelby GT500 is reportedly the most aerodynamically advanced Mustang to day.
Online style screening was a crucial part of the design procedure for the high-performance vehicle. Using digital testing, more than 500 cooling and also wind resistant 3D layouts were analysed to make it possible for the team to reach its downforce, braking and cooling down targets.
When one of the most encouraging styles were recognized, Ford’s engineering group made use of 3D printing to develop and examine prototypes. For instance, the group printed and tested over 10 styles for front splitter wickers, which they had the ability to simultaneously send for test analysis.
Ford Heating And Cooling Bar Arm 3D-printed utilizing Carbon’s DLS technology
Ford’s cooling and heating Lever Arm 3D-printed using Carbon’s DLS innovation [Photo credit rating: Ford]
In addition to using 3D-printed prototypes for design validation as well as useful testing, the upcoming 2020 Shelby GT500 will likewise include 2 structural 3D-printed brake parts. These elements were produced utilizing Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3D printing innovation and also EPX (epoxy) 82 product, and also have actually passed all of Ford’s performance criteria as well as requirements.
With these applications, it’s clear that Ford is laying the structure to be able to do some quite impressive things with additive production.
” Additive manufacturing is mosting likely to remain to be implanted increasingly more into the daily part of what we do as a service,” Ford’s Technical Leader of AM Technologies, Harold Sears, just recently explained in AMFG’s Professional Interview series. “Instead of being an exception to the norm, it’s going to be far more accepted as the method it’s done.”
Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see just how Ford remains to take advantage of the capabilities of 3D printing to even more improve the manufacturing of its lorries.
4. Volkswagen Autoeuropa: 3D-printed production devices
3D-printed wheel security jig
Volkswagen Autoeuropa makes use of Ultimaker’s 3D printers to produce jigs and also fixtures for its assembly line [Image credit report: Ultimaker]
While prototyping continues to be the main application of 3D printing within the automotive sector, making use of the modern technology for tooling is swiftly catching on.
One amazing instance of this is Volkswagen, which has been using 3D printing in-house for a number of years.
In 2014, the business started to pilot Ultimaker’s desktop computer 3D printers to create tooling equipment at the Volkswagen Autoeuropa factory in Portugal. Considering that the success of the pilot, Volkswagen has switched its tooling production practically completely to 3D printing.
Making use of the modern technology for this application brings a number of benefits.
Producing its tooling internally decreases device production costs for the auto producer by 90%– as well as cuts lead times from weeks to simply a couple of days. To take one example, a tool like a liftgate badge would supposedly take 35 days to develop making use of typical production and also cost as much as EUR400. With 3D printing, the same tool can be produced in 4 days at an expense of just EUR10.
Utilizing 3D printing for tooling is claimed to have actually saved Volkswagen nearly EUR325,000 in 2017, whilst improving ergonomics, efficiency and also driver fulfillment.
When it comes to making help, 3D printing is quickly expanding as an alternative to more established ways of manufacturing tools. In a couple of years, we’ll likely see even more vehicle OEMs changing to 3D-printed tooling to enhance the performance of their production and also the performance of their devices.
Read also: 6 Ways to Enhance Production Effectiveness with 3D Printed Jigs and Fixtures
5. 3D-printed lug nuts that conserve automobile wheels from burglars
3d published wheel locks by ford and eos
[Photo credit: Ford Electric motor Co.
] Just how to quit burglars from stealing cars and truck wheels? Ford is answering that inquiry with a program in Europe to 3D print custom locking wheel lug nuts for autos that are a lot more immune to theft.
Generally, cars will have a solitary securing lug nut per wheel to stop its removal without the unique key attached to the lug wrench. Yet these can be beat, so Ford is 3D printing patterns for its locks that can’t be duplicated as easily.
Making use of 3D printers from EOS, Ford produces locks utilizing a customized pattern for every consumer. Utilizing an acoustic wave pattern from a straightforward sentence, it’s feasible to develop a totally one-of-a-kind pattern that provides an added layer of safety in a similar fashion to finger print acknowledgment.
When made, the lock and the trick are 3D-printed as a solitary stainless-steel part. After cutting both apart, they require only a little sprucing up to function.
The benefit of these locks is that they are virtually difficult to duplicate. With erratically spaced ribs inside the nut and also indentations that wide the deeper they go in, it’s impossible for thieves to make a wax perception of these locks without breaking the wax.
Making wheels a lot more protected and providing more item personalisation are additional evidence that 3D printing is a game-changer for automobile production.
6. Resident Motors & XEV: when traveling in the direction of 3D-printed cars?
The bottom half of the 3D-printed self-governing automobile, Olli
The bottom half of Olli, the 3D-printed self-governing shuttle [Photo credit history: Citizen Motors]
While still some means away, a variety of business are making every effort to make completely 3D-printed cars and trucks a truth. Neighborhood Motors, based in Arizona, is one business with an objective to 3D printing entire lorries possible.
The firm made a dash in 2014 when it revealed what it claimed to be the first-ever 3D-printed electrical auto– Strati– at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). The automobile was made in cooperation with Oak Ridge National Research Laboratory (ORNL) and Cincinnati, Inc
. 2 years later on, Local Motors introduced Olli, a 3D-printed, independent electrical shuttle bus designed for neighborhood, low-speed transportation. The shuttle bus has been designed mainly for use in city centres in cities, business as well as college schools and medical facilities.
So just how has the business attained this?
Resident Motors used several of the globe’s biggest 3D printers– ORNL’s Large Area Additive Production (BAAM) as well as Thermwood’s Huge Scale Ingredient Production (LSAM) devices– to generate most of Olli’s parts, consisting of the roofing as well as reduced body of the lorry.
Likewise, Strati was published using Cincinnati, Inc.’s large-scale 3D printer, as well as took just 44 hrs to complete. The wheels and hubcaps of the vehicle were created utilizing a straight metal 3D printing process.
Since Olli was first introduced, Resident Motors has actually evaluated over 2,000 mixes of printing material and also fortifying ingredients, and is now able to print the whole minibus in roughly 10 hrs.
Resident Motors associates its success to its ‘electronic car production design’. This service version enables the company to bring products to market in an entirely brand-new method by co-creating brand-new layouts with a global community of experts. The business uses digital production technologies, like 3D printing, to produce and also put together vehicles in neighborhood microfactories.
3D printing is a natural fit to this dispersed production model, as it offers a way to promptly repeat styles, personalize parts and products on an as-needed basis, saving resources and reducing the need to keep the inventory.
While it will take a while to see completely 3D-printed automobiles on the roads, jobs like Resident Motors’ Olli might take us one action better to that exciting opportunity.
Neighborhood Motors is not the only business pursuing 3D-printed cars. Likewise, Italian car manufacturer, XEV, is developing a low-speed electric LSEV auto with the help of 3D printing
Utilizing large-format FDM innovation and also four various grades of polyamide and also TPU, the company has the ability to reduce its manufacturing expenses by 70% as well as capitalize on the lightweighting 3D printing offers.
The finished LSEV considers just 450 kgs and also features simply 57 plastic elements, meaning it can be generated in an issue of days. XEV has actually also made the decision to produce 2,000 of its own large-format extrusion 3D printers to use inside its manufacturing facilities for production.
While automation of the lorry will certainly start later on this year, pre-orders have already been made by Italian post office, Blog post Italiane, who has actually commissioned 5,000 customised vehicles for its operations.
7. Greater customisation with 3D printing.
With the growing need for customised products and also customised experiences, automakers are increasingly offering their customers the capacity to tailor-make their lorries.
One way to make this customisation economically feasible is with 3D printing.
Japan’s oldest cars and truck supplier, Daihatsu, released an automobile customisation job for its Copen car design in 2016.
In partnership with Stratasys, Daihatsu consumers can design as well as get custom 3D-printed panels for their front and also rear bumpers, with an option of greater than 15 base patterns in 10 various colours.
The customised parts are published with ASA, a resilient and also UV-resistant polycarbonate, utilizing Stratasys’ Fortus 3D printers. The ability to generate customised, one-off layouts quickly and cost-effectively was just one of the key factors for selecting 3D printing over standard processes.
In Europe, Volkswagen is now carrying out HP’s Steel Jet technology with an eye towards customised metal parts such as tailgates, gear-shift knobs as well as crucial rings.
The business prepares to provide its consumers the choice of adding individualised lettering to these components. Volkswagen also keeps in mind that these personal components will certainly function as a proof of idea for creating 3D-printed structural parts for its cars and trucks within the following a couple of years.
One benefit of using 3D printing for customisation is that it allows automakers to lower preparations and also production prices for low-volume components. This is partially since the innovation removes the demand to produce specific tooling help for each personalised component– a prospect that would certainly be monetarily impractical.
Going forward, automakers will certainly still need to create more use cases for customised 3D-printed elements to go beyond basic trim components. That claimed, as the modern technology breakthroughs, the opportunities for vehicle customisation with 3D printing look readied to increase at a much greater rate over the next few years.
Read also: 3D Printing as well as Mass Customisation: Where Are We Today?
8. Going after triumph: 3D printing for motorsports
Volkswagen Motorsport ID. R Pikes Peak cars and truck tested in the wind tunnel
Volkswagen Motorsport’s I.D. R Pikes Peak auto racing vehicle is designed making use of over 2000 3D-printed components for testing [Photo credit: Volkswagen]
In Formula One racing, just how a race auto executes will certainly often suggest the difference in between a win or a loss. However, engineering an effective race cars and truck is a challenge, not least due to the high prices included as well as the quick advancement cycle required.
Wind tunnel testing is one of the important stages of the race car development procedure.
Car manufacturers utilize wind tunnels to validate and also adjust the aerodynamic residential or commercial properties of a race vehicle. Throughout the wind tunnel testing phase, a design of an auto is placed on a treadmill to evaluate just how the auto will execute in a simulated auto racing setting.
Currently, 3D printing is most typically used within motorsports to create parts to be examined out on this reproduction race auto. For example, Swiss Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team is reported to have made use of a 60% scale model of a Formula 1 race vehicle, with a number of its components 3D printed with SLS as well as run-down neighborhood innovations.
Designers at Sauber have the ability to print parts like front wings, brake air ducts, suspension and also engine covers much faster as well as with higher design flexibility than conventional manufacturing would enable.
One more example originates from Volkswagen Motorsport, which utilized 3D printing for the growth of its electrical I.D. R Pikes Height race cars and truck. Having only eight months to develop the vehicle, the Volkswagen group bank on 3D printing to quicken the process and meet its advancement deadlines.
The modern technology was used to produce components for the 50% range model of the I.D. R Pikes Peak cars and truck. Around 2,000 private parts for the wind tunnel version have been manufactured, with components generated within a few days as opposed to the weeks it would certainly take with CNC machining or moulding.
By allowing an exceptionally versatile as well as really quick development procedure, 3D printing has aided Volkswagen Motorsport to obtain the car on the road on time. As well as this effort was just recently compensated: simply last year, the I.D. R Pikes Optimal race car established a new document for capital climb in Pikes Peak racing.
With shown effectiveness in reducing development times, 3D printing is now making its method into end-part applications that can offer racing groups significant efficiency benefits.
9. 3D printing extra components for classic automobiles
3D-printed substitute parts for Porsche classic cars
Porsche 3D publishes several spare parts for its vintage cars [Picture debt: Porsche]
Spare components are yet one more application of 3D printing in auto– as well as one Porsche Standard is making the most of.
The department of the German car company supplies components for its vintage and also out-of-production designs, and is using 3D printing to create uncommon, low-volume spare components for its older inventory.
Much of these components are no more in manufacturing, and the tooling required to manufacture them either don’t exist or are in bad problem. Production brand-new tooling aids with traditional approaches is inherently cost-prohibitive, specifically taking into consideration the reduced quantities concerned.
For addressing these difficulties, Porsche Classic has actually started to 3D print these components (in steel and plastic) on demand.
The printing process involves thawing the metal powder (or sintering for plastics) with a high-energy laser beam of light in an accurate pattern, hence developing the three-dimensional object up one layer at once. The advantage is that components can be made without any added devices and also only when needed, assisting Porsche to save on tooling and also storage space costs connected with making these spares utilizing standard approaches.
3D printing components that are rarely gotten or stopped being generated is a growing pattern within the auto supply chain. Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Volkswagen as well as BMW are likewise welcoming 3D printing for this application, allowing the carmakers to cut costs, increase functional performance as well as optimize inventory.
So these were all fine instances of 3d printing in the auto components (pezzi di ricambio) industry.