Across the world, 3D printing prototype is rapidly finding widespread applications and delivering value at breakneck speeds. Today, we look at the automotive industry and how 3D printing is “driving” significant changes. From its ability to deliver on complex structures, excellent strength to weight ratio, speed and cost-savings, here is how top automobile manufacturers are leveraging 3D printing for next generation cars
Known for its beauty, elegance and class, Porsche has been using 3D printing in one of the most innovative ways – Porche Classic.
Many collectors cherish older models of the Porsche for its classic looks, elegant curves and of course, speed. While Porsche classic continues to put a number of efforts into retaining its heritage cars, many buyers don’t have the classic models of the Porsche for look-sake, they all drive it. And is the case with driving, there are always a few scratches, dents and breakages here and there. So, what then happens when a customer needs to replace a part from an 1875 Porsche model? Well, Porsche is now using 3D printing to create classic and vintage replacement parts for its older models whose parts will otherwise be simply unavailable in today’s market. This application of 3D printing is proof that old and new can compliment each other with the right frame of mind. With significant investments like this, we can expect to see a number of Porsche Classic Cars around for a long time.
Audi is not letting Porsche; its sister company, have all the fun with additive manufacturing. Only a couple of months back, Audi has created many 3D printing units to help produce prototype components and vehicle spare parts for its customers.
Audi has also embraced the speed and production supremacy of 3D printing by using this technology to create tooling equipment that are needed on assembly lines. This helps to ensure that the plant remains running as against having a downtime that could stem from supplier part delays, shipping time and logistics and cause serious financial losses.
If you’ve not heard of XEV, you are not alone. XEV, an Italian electric vehicle producer teamed up with Polymaker, a Chinese company to produce the LSEV, an over 90-percent component 3D car. This LSEV, which is the world’s first 3D printed car is made in its entirety using 3D printing, with only parts like the chassis, tyres and windscreen left out of additive manufacturing. The vehicle, which costs just around $7500 is looking to reduce the impact of environmental pollution with a significantly lesser use of plastic in its build.
The Volkswagen, which translates to “People’s car” is using 3D printing from HP metal Jet Printers to create miniature car models, custom and functional vehicle parts in its factories worldwide. In a project that the company announces to adopt in phases, VW will use additive manufacturing to produce car parts like mirror mounts, custom key, key fobs and gearshift heads.
The Audi, Porsche, Skoda, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti Parent company is also using the technology to produce tooling for its assembly line with the hope of preventing downtimes and reducing reliance on third-party suppliers. Volkswagen has also used 3D printing in a number of solutions it has used to recreate its 1962 Classic Minibus.
In less than 24 hours, the Strati was created to be the world’s first electric car with a little over 50 individually parts. Made by Local Motors, this vehicle exploits the speed and geometric complexities that are afforded by additive manufacturing to create the vehicle’s chassis and structural elements.
From the Cooper to Roadster, Hardtop, Countryman, Clubman and Coupe, we all love the Mini. By collaborating with Twikit, BMW’s Mini allows customers to key into manufacturing and develop an extensive amount of customization using 3D printing. Should you choose to, you can customize the outer part of your new whip with chosen fonts, images, patterns and fixtures. As soon as these details are captured, the specifications are 3D printed in Germany and delivered anywhere in the world in only a couple of weeks. Sweet!
BMW is using additive manufacturing in its design of the i8 Roadster to create better top covers and reduce the weight of the car for better fuel efficiency and performance. The 3D parts that will replace the conventional parts of the car will offer better strength to weight ratio, delivering on speed and sustainability in electric cars.
For a manufacturer that has produced some of the fastest cars on earth, the Bugatti is no child’s play. Designed from super metals like Titanium, Bugatti favors the use of 8-piston monobloc brake caliper. Because of the material characteristics and ease of machinability, the “Veyron” producer has used 3D printing for the production of high-performance brake calipers with reduced weight and increased strength all at lower costs.
Firstpart 3D Printing Solutions
Firstpart offers a wide range of 3D printing solutions for both personal, commercial, automotive and other industrial uses. Choose from a variety of printing options, filaments and finishes to produce high-quality parts that are suitable as production parts, prototypes or end-use devices. By simply contacting us, we can print and ship your parts to you anywhere in the world.
We invite you to work with us and take advantage of our expertise in combining additive and subtractive manufacturing technologies for excellent product output. At Firstpart, we can help to optimize the performance of your design by including aesthetically-pleasing and highly-functional 3D design models that ensures an improved overall part performance and combine the machining efficiency of CNC machines for attention-arresting outcomes. Click here to request a free quote or click here to contact us now and get started with your project!