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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Newsletter (June) – expanding direct 3D printers’ control

Let’s be partners!

Direct 3D printer control is coming, are you with us?

Authentise has a history of developing solutions that enable the users to do more with their equipment. Now, building on our work in streaming and with companies like Lowe’s and Stratasys, we are starting to move on to direct control of machines.

EOS is committed, and we can push directly information into their 3D printers. Initially, we are rolling out these features to EOS printers, but there will be many more to come.

Be an early adapter and benefit from special discounts to this program.

Controlling the user’s 3D printer will mean:

  • Nesting can be more efficient due to a more direct and data-rich approach in dealing with orders.
  • Setup can be more automated, by giving our platform the power to schedule certain operations without user’s input.
  • Quoting can be more accurate.
  • Set up each machine, generate and send the toolpaths remotely into the printers.
  • and much more!

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If you or your company have EOS 3D printers and are looking to be an early adopter of these new features, please let us know by contacting our CMO Frank Speck at frank@authentise.com.

How large companies are (or plan to) leverage AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 74)

Big companies are the first to experiment and get to know the features of new technologies. Their job is to stay on top of the competition and new manufacturing techniques like AM are bringing new possibilities. However, part of the process is recognizing where the technology would be most beneficial. Right now, AM is being actively employed for prototyping and iterating the design of entirely new types of parts. Ford, for example, is experimenting with large-format 3D printing to bring to its car manufacturing. For other companies, where the runs are small and often full of complex parts, AM is a real game-changer. Airbus has been 3D printing panels for its A350 XWB model airplane, saving weight and money. Even though the dream of bringing AM to mass manufacturing plants is still a ways off, progress is being made to make it a reality. Adidas is testing the fast, production-level 3D printer from Carbon to produce as many as 100’000 AM-enabled shoe pairs by the year’s end.

3D printing: Ford pilot project goes large

The automaker is running a project with Stratasys, a manufacturer of additive manufacturing systems based in Eden Prairie, Minn., that’s testing the production of big, single-piece units as prototypes, auto parts and components. Ford recognizes the Stratasys system as a potentially more efficient and affordable way to create tooling, prototype parts, make components for low-volume vehicles (such as performance cars) and produce personalized car parts.

Read more at Plant.ca

Airbus saves 15% in material weight due to 3D printing

The European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, has been working with Materialise’s Certified Additive Manufacturing for two, creating plastic parts for aircraft through 3D printing. The manufacturer has noted the benefits of 3D printing for small batch production, enabling more customization whilst being time and cost-effective.

Read the full article here.

How Adidas Plans To Bring 3D Printing To The Masses

Adidas is not only planning to introduce by the end of this year 100,000 pairs of shoes with plastic midsoles made via a new 3D technology created by Silicon Valley startup Carbon; it’s also making moves to ramp up that production to millions in the coming years, said James Carnes, vice president of strategy creation for Adidas’s namesake brand.

“We have a really aggressive plan to scale this,” Carnes said in an interview. “We are scaling a production. The plan will put us as the (world’s) biggest producer of 3D-printed products.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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Decentrailized manufacturing: how AM disrupts logistics (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 44)

Much of the activities surrounding an industrial operation require a lot of logistical effort to work efficiently. Just think about the amount of planning required beforehand to build a house and during construction to make every step slide into place. These activities take up a big chunk of the overall cost of operations but AM is poised to change things up. What this technology allows is to decentralize the manufacturing power, enabling its redistribution where and when it is needed. Going back to the building example, a 3D printer can be set up to take care of pretty much all the chores of constructing the essential structure: eliminating the need to organize bricks shipping and handling and much more, effectively working with raw materials that could even be sourced locally. Automotive businesses are already eyeing AM as a solution to its replacement parts stock problem. A 3D printer can manufacture any component a customer may need (even if it’s obsolete), taking away the need to maintain massive inventories, dislocating these factories so that shipping may not even be an issue. Closer to the production plant, the capabilities of AM render many of the steps included in the traditional pipeline redundant, essentially shrinking it and reducing costs and time.

 

World’s first 3D-printed bridge opens to cyclists in Netherlands

Dutch officials have toasted the opening of what is being called the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists. “The bridge is not very big, but it was rolled out by a printer, which makes it unique,” Theo Salet, from the Eindhoven University of Technology, told Dutch broadcaster NOS. Work on printing the bridge, which has some 800 layers, took about three months after starting in June and it is made of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete, according to the university.

Read the full article here.

 

Electrolux Trials 3D Printed Spare Parts On Demand With Spare Parts 3D

A spare parts warehouse, which Electolux looks to replace using 3D printing. Photo via Spare Parts 3D.

Electrolux, a Swedish domestic appliance manufacturer, is performing a series of tests and analyses ahead of producing on-demand 3D printed spare parts to its customers. […] Electrolux is attempting to address problems affecting both the manufacturer and consumer. For the manufacturer the problem is high production, inventory and maintenance costs for spare parts after the production of the actual appliances has stopped, yet they are still in use. For the consumer, costs of replacement increase after the product is no longer sold, and it often takes a substantial amount of time to process and ship replacement parts.

Read the full article here.

 

Ricoh To Replace Metal Tooling With Stratasys 3D Printed Equivalents

A 3D printed fixture in use on the workbench. Screenshot via Stratasys on YouTube

Electronics and imaging company Ricoh Japan has announced that it is replacing its traditional metal tooling with 3D printed jigs and fixtures made on a Stratasys Fortus 900mc system. By integrating 3D printed tools at the Production Technology Center in Miyagi prefecture, Japan, Ricoh is boosting operational yield, and creating a more cost-effective, streamlined assembly line.

Keep reading here.

 

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Getting AM primed for industies through collaborations (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 05)

Hello to all our good readers, welcome to 2017th fifth weekly News-In-Review!

From our insider’s vantage point we’ve observed for some time how AM is getting geared up for the performance standards of industrial deployment. The steady process of refinement of the various technologies in the 3D printing world has been possible thanks to the ongoing host of collaborations and projects that helped tackle the issues AM still faces. We could not get a better example that this week’s numerous news on the topic:

Audi has announced a partnership with EOS to integrate AM in their business and, at the same time, McLaren sings a similar partnership with Stratasys to bring AM-enabled car components to the F1 track. The fruits of one such collaboration are already ripe for Airbus, which has been in the testing stage with Sciaky for quite some time and is now ready to implement the latter’s huge EBAM printer in their aircraft manufacturing process. To note there is also Lloyd’s Register Energy and TWI who launched two collaborative global projects which will help the international community identify the technological standards needed for AM to scale to the industrial setting.

If it looks like a lot to cover it’s because it is! So, without further ado, let’s dig in.

 

Audi announce partnership with German 3D printing company EOS

Automotive manufacturer Audi has announced a new partnership agreement with fellow German company, 3D printer manufacturers EOS. The use of additive manufacturing will be used for, “equipment and prototype building at Audi, as well as motor sports, where the technology is already in use today.” Güngör Kara, Director of Global Application and Consulting at EOS, explained how the agreement will move Audi forward: “The aim is to not only supply Audi with the right additive systems and processes but to also support them during applications development, when building up internal AM knowledge and training their engineers to become in-house AM experts.”

Read more about the partnership here.

Stratasys Signs Four-Year Partnership with McLaren Racing as Official Supplier of 3D Printing Solutions

John Cooper, Commercial and Finance Director, McLaren Racing (l) and Ilan Levin, Stratasys CEO (r)

[Stratasys] is going to the races: to bring additive manufacturing to the track, it has announced a new four-year partnership with McLaren Racing. Stratasys will work as the Official Supplier of 3D Printing Solutions to the McLaren Honda Formula 1 team, and provide the team with additive manufacturing and 3D printing solutions. The company will assist the Formula 1 team in elevating its capacity for rapid manufacturing at the McLaren Technology Center in Woking, UK. In a way, Stratasys will operate as a 3D printing pit crew for McLaren Racing.

Read the full article here.

Airbus To 3-D Print Airframe Structures

Airbus is installing a large additive manufacturing machine [Sciaky‘s EBAM 110] at a production site in France to 3D print titanium aircraft structural parts for its aircraft. [John O’Hara, director of global sales] says the qualification work completed so far shows EBAM can produce components that meet or exceed the properties of forged parts. Printing rather than forging these parts avoids the long lead times and the waste of expensive metal involved in machining finished parts from forgings. With its high deposition rates, the wire-fed EBAM can produce parts in hours or days, versus weeks or months, he says. “We provided thousands of pounds to Airbus before the deal was signed,” O’Hara reiterates. “They know where this is going.”

Read more about it here (registration needed).

Lloyd’s Register Energy Partners with TWI to Launch Two Collaborative Global Projects Focused on Industrial Additive Manufacturing Challenges

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[Lloyd’s Register Energy (LR)] has teamed up with leading research and technology organization The Welding Institute (TWI) to launch two new collaborative projects that will help companies more fully integrate additive manufacturing. The first of LR and TWI’s new projects, “Achieving Regulatory and Code Compliance for Additive Manufacturing,” will “investigate the routes to regulatory compliance of parts selected by project sponsors, and will produce data and assessment criteria for the introduction and acceptance of parts through third-party inspection.”

Read more about the project at 3DPrint.

 

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