Is 3D printing reinventing the automotive assembly line? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 78)

Henry Ford was the first to envision a streamlined way of bringing quality automobiles to market. The idea behind his revolutionary vision was that technology enabled his workers to optimize their activities. That philosophy is still alive and well in the automotive industry and now, thanks to 3D printing, it’s experiencing a renewed sense of discovery. Currently, companies like Audi and GM are employing 3D printing to help speed up the design and prototyping cycle cutting lead times by more than 50% and saving over $300K on tooling. The bravest (or those with the most resources) are pushing 3D printing towards new applications and wild concepts for the cars of the future.

General Motors Saves $300,000 By Switching To 3D Printed Tooling

Zane Meike holds sample 3D printed tool at the Lansing Delta Township assembly plant in Michigan. Photo by Michael Wayland/Automotive News

The Lansing Delta Township assembly plant of American multinational vehicle manufacturer General Motors has reported an expected cost saving of over $300,000 since it acquired a 3D printer three years ago. Driving forward its 3D printing efforts, the plant eventually expects to create annual cost savings in the millions of dollars.

Read the full article here.

Shanghai Commits To Divergent 3D Printed Electric Vehicle Production

The Divergent 3D node-based additive manufacturing technology, used to make the Blade supercar, is to be the driver of a new electric vehicle (EV) production plant in Shanghai.

“The EV market in China is at an inflection point, with unparalleled growth in demand and government policy stimulus,” says Eric Ho King-fung, chairman of We Solutions in an article for the South China Morning Post.

Check out the rest of the article here.

MIT’s 3D-printed inflatables could shape the interiors of cars in the future

Car interiors could morph into different configurations at the flick of a switch, using 3D-printed inflatable structures developed by researchers at the MIT. The Self-Assembly Lab at MIT worked with BMW on the project, called Liquid Printed Pneumatics. The result is a stretchy, inflatable silicone prototype that can take on a number of different shapes depending on the level of air pressure inside. If turned into a car seat, it could quickly be tuned to different positions, or levels of springiness depending on user preference.

Read the rest at Dezeen.

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3D Printing is helping reinvent robots (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 77)

3D printing is helping many industries find new effective ways of going about their business. In robotics, this was particularly apparent, mostly due to the still very early nature of the field. The research environment is more flexible and open to disruption and this has led to some pretty amazing applications. Through generative design CAD techniques, Boston Dynamics robots got a substantial weight-cut and simplified the overall design, much like Airbus is doing with its airplane cabin parts. Thanks to its manufacturing flexibility and quick iteration times, 3D printing is enabling wild prototying ideas, like new soft robotic grippers, and aiding students in not only putting robotics within reach but to be able to innovate on practically the same level as any other company.

A Morning Jog With Boston Dynamic’s 3D Printing Powered Atlas Robot

Structure of the Atlas' legs. Image via Boston Dynamics

Despite the feeling for this extremely realistic robot, [Boston Dynamic’sAtlas is undeniably a feat of modern engineering, in many parts enabled by 3D printing. To be expected, the legs responsible for Atlas’ convincing agility have been cited as one of the most challenging parts of its development. Each leg is actuated by hydraulic power, requiring the internal integration of multiple channels and actuator cylinders into a single part – a task that has been overcome with the use of 3D printing.

Read the full coverage on 3D Printing Industry.

Silicone material enables the 3D printing of soft robotic grippers

3d printing of soft robotic grippers

The ACEO team from Wacher Chemie AG chose 3D printing for its soft robotic grippers because this technology lets designers customize the grippers into varying sizes, shapes and weights. The elastomer material is made from 100% silicone and can be used in food applications and also offers biocompatibility.

Check out the full article here.

Rize One 3D Printer Helps Students Reach Success in Robotics Competition

FRC Team 1257 was part of a challenge that was called FIRST Power Up, which asked students to build robots that placed boxes on scales. As part of the challenge, the team designed a functional pulley with an integrated sprocket and used a Rize One 3D printer to 3D print it in one piece, reducing the number of parts that would have otherwise been needed and minimizing the assembly required.

“We chose the Rize One 3D printer to print the part due to Rize’s isotropic part strength and ink marking capability,” said Jackie Gerstein, a technology teacher at UCMHS and faculty advisor and mentor to Team 1257.

Read the article here.

 

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