I love articles like this as because not only does it talk about the new technology but it also talks about how it was used in application. And that is really neat. I can imagine this car driving around with a bnuch of parts that are 3D printed. I wish I could print out a new door for my car and fix that little door ding. But since I can't I can stay inside and read cool stories like this about companies that are taking this new technology and stretching how they do things to take advantage of what can be done to come up with better products for the consumer.
This is really interesting. It seems that the "printed" parts from these high end printers can really be used. This definately revolutionizes machining. With the right CAD environment and a variety of tools the speed with which one can prototype these days is breathtaking.
Prodrive is a great example of pushing the technology past pure prototyping and into functional parts. The other great thing about this use case example is that they really have a multi-tiered roll out plan for leveraging 3D printing. With that kind of solid roadmap, it's no wonder they are having some solid success.
3D printing technology has been used in the vintage car market for years. I first heard about it in an interview with Jay Leno and his head mechanic. They used 3D printing to create or replace impossible to find parts for Jay's extensive collection.
Increased innovation in the automotive industry is exciting and long overdue.
Beth, this is really exciting news in the 3D printing/additive manufacturing arena. Aerospace and race car makers have been using some forms of 3D printing for onsite repair and for short runs of components, but to see so many end-use parts designed and printed this way is a major breakthrough.
While reading the article I was thinking if the company was considering using 3d parts in the final product. Must have read my mind because that question was answered in the next sentence. I like the fact that the 3d printouts are used for prototyping but really like the use of them in low rate mfg products.
I wanted to mention that my current contract assignment led me into sourcing some prototypes last month, and I got my very first experience with Z-Corp selective color 3D parts.Wow.Dimensional accuracy, full color legible labeling on the part surfaces, and tough, yet flexible parts.State of the art; most impressive rapid turn parts I've seen yet.It's probably a very sour taste to the Z-Corp providers that we still refer generically to 24 hour turn parts as SLA's.....so I suppose my adult son would say, "This is NOT your father's SLA !"
@gsmith120: I'm definnitely hearing a lot more about companies deploying 3D printing for low-grade production parts. The significant advances in quality, durability, accuracy for part tolerances, coupled with falling prices is making this a no-brainer for companies. I suspect we're going to see a lot more activity on this front going forward.
We do very low volume mining vehicles and often get unique requests.
I recently needed an electrical enclosure for an odd application and was able to fulfill it through Redeye (Stratasys). Free from the cost constraints of buying a mold or limited geometry of stock enclosures I was able to supply a much better product. The Redeye service had some very rugged (I chose a ABS/PC blend) material choices and a user friendly outmated quote process that really helped me refine my design from a cost stand point (small changes can really reduce cost).
This was a end use solutiion for us.
Rapid manufacturing techniques can also allow you to create shapes that simply cannot be molded or machined. This is only going to get better, cheaper and faster-and rather quickly I expect.
Back in 2002 when I worked at Chrysler Research Facility in Windsor, we parametrized an Edlebrock intake for a Dodge V8. We were able to make adjusts to the runners and deck height based on engine dyno and engine flow machine data to develop intakes for both long and short tracks for the NASCAR series. We then printed these intakes out on our 3D printer in a thermally resistant epoxy and then sent this out to a machine shop to be drilled and tapped for sensors. We then installed this assembly on an actual block in a NASCAR car and were able to obtain real-time data from the sensors on a 10 lap run. Best job I ever had.
While every company might have their own solution for PLM, Aras Innovator 10 intends to make PLM easier for all company sizes through its customization. The program is also not resource intensive, which allows it to be appropriated for any use. Some have even linked it to the Raspberry Pi.
solidThinking updated its Inspire program with a multitude of features to expedite the conception and prototype process. The latest version lets users blend design with engineering and manufacturing constraints to produce the cheapest, most efficient design before production.
MIT students modified a 3D printer to enable it to print more than one object and print on top of existing printed objects. All of this was made possible by modifying a Solidoodle with a height measuring laser.
Siemens released Intosite, a cloud-based, location-aware SaaS app that lets users navigate a virtual production facility in much of the same fashion as traversing through Google Earth. Users can access PLM, IT, and other pertinent information for specific points on a factory floor or at an outdoor location.
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