Audi updates its designing process: 3D printing making it faster
Your favorite Audi just got faster…… this time, in its production process
The development process of vehicle design development has got significantly speedy at Audi, Pre-Series Center in Ingolstadt with the latest advancement in the 3D printing technology and its skillful application in the process of automotive production. The technology has enabled to 3D print various transparent and exact colored tail light covers and other vehicle production parts.
Earlier, the tail light covers could not be produced in one piece which now has been made possible by Audi using 3D printing technology. With this, Audi is expecting a dramatic cutback in prototyping lead times for tail light covers. If compared with the conventional methods the reduction goes down up to 50% which will save a lot of time and ease the process of tail light covers production.
The new advancement allows the automobile giant to produce transparent, multi-colored and textured parts which match the color of its precise design requirements and eases the approval process.
Ultra Realistic, multi-colored and transparent tail light covers are planned to manufacture by Audi plastics 3D printing Centre in Ingolstadt.
How did the process of product design look like?
The conventional method of commencing a new vehicle involves a long process of producing physical models and prototypes. This was to enable the brand to assess the new designs and take the procedure ahead.
The process demands allocation apportionment of almost all parts of the vehicle, especially in the early stage of the vehicle development. Right from door handles and wheel covers to radiator grills, the conventional way of evaluating the early process had to go through molding and milling which were commonly used to create and duplication the new vehicle model.
What was the challenging part?
The multi-colored covers of the tail light housing were the main challenge in the conventional process of automotive designing process. The color had to be assembled individually since they could not be manufactured in one-piece. It had elongated the process eventually leading to the delayed time taken to market the product.
How will the new 3D printing technology help to overcome the prototyping setbacks?
To mitigate the unnecessarily time consumed over prototyping, 3D printing speeded up the process of automotive design which will soon replace the traditional method, accelerating the design verification overall. It has advanced to an extent that now the technology has become an intrinsic part of the automotive design process. The designing team at Audi Pre-series center has overhauled the setbacks of the conventional method.
The automotive tech giant claims to have over 5 lakh color combinations available with them which will enable their team to 3D print elongate parts in different colors and appearances to meet the one-of-a-kind requirements of product design.
The clientele of Audi has explicit demands while purchasing the product, especially in term of the design and vehicle appearance. The final vehicle model has to be crucially elite maintaining the foremost standards of its quality. Taking it into account, the concept phase itself needs to to be made powerful and achieve the highest quality for the final product.
"Using the J750 for the prototyping of tail light covers, we will be able to accelerate our design verification process," says Spiering, Head of the A print technique in our prototyping process of tail light covers," he adds.
Consequently, the company expects the prototypes to be exact part of point properties with meticulous color and transparency. The Stratasys J750 3D printer enables to print the textures and colors with the highest accuracy making it the significant advantage in the design and production process.
The advancement has triggered the growing opportunities in the 3d printing in the automobile sector. Audi continues to leverage to incorporate new 3D printing technologies into new application areas for further enhancement of the development process and research.