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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Matches made in heaven: the crossroads of innovation (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 62)

Technologies have often found it beneficial to tap into innovations, sometimes from quite different fields, to find new potential directions to explore. Considering 3D printing’s flexibility, it’s only logical to see it being employed to uplift the possibilities of this or that application. For example, AM enables a new generation of implants to include sensors embedded in them, for a better fit and smarter monitoring respectively. Similarly, in a little validation for us: IIoT is making helping Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems make most of its functions, feeding live, relevant and actionable data to businesses. The matrix of explorations is endless, and combining experimental technologies is showing us new ways to manufacture, design and ultimately, thing about innovation.

Renishaw Case Study: Benefits of Smart Implants with Sensor and 3D Printing Technologies

Renishaw and Western University previously set up the Additive Design in Surgical Solutions (ADEISS) Centre on the university’s campus, which brings together academics and clinicians to work on developing novel 3D printed medical devices. The institute is currently developing technology in the sensor implant field, and recently introduced its smart hip concept, which uses accelerometers and temperature sensors to collect patient data, which is later communicated to a remote device.

Read the full article here.

IIoT And ERP: Powerful Combination Fueled By Data

The IIoT bridges the shop floor and ERP software to allow for the creation and sharing of data in real time. With machine connections, such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and sensors, production data is linked to lot, serial and batch details for a seamless flow of information through the cloud. Utilizing data from sensors and other Big Data sources helps businesses analyze data quickly and make better informed decisions. Businesses can better monitor inventory replenishment, sales demands, parts replacement — they can improve virtually any business process to reduce operational and maintenance costs. This is exactly the approach Authentise is following with our data-driven MES.

Read more at Manufacturing Business Technology.

Combining augmented reality, 3D printing and a robotic arm to prototype in real time

Robotic Modeling Assistant (RoMA) is a joint project out of MIT and Cornell that brings together a variety of different emerging technologies in an attempt to build a better prototyping machine. Using an augmented reality headset and two controllers, the designer builds a 3D model using a CAD (computer-aided design) program. A robotic arm then goes to work constructing a skeletal model using a simple plastic depositing 3D printer mounted on its hand.

Read the full article at TechCrunch.

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