One long-established company that has been determinedly pursuing 3D printing technology lately is Techniplas, an automotive injection molding company that recently established a new digital business unit. The company recently announced that it would be creating a new additive manufacturing center, and today, Techniplas has officially opened the center in Ventura, California. The Additive Manufacturing Center will be operated by the newly developed Techniplas Digital, and brings together advanced 3D printing with generative design and lightweighting technologies.
Like its existing business, Techniplas’ new Additive Manufacturing Center will be focused on automotive customers, and will work to create lighter and stronger parts as well as cognitive assemblies.
“Everyone from our customers to their customers will directly benefit from the capabilities in our new facility,” said George Votis, Founder and Chairman, Techniplas. “The automotive industry is being disrupted and redefined at lightning speed, and we are putting in the capabilities which will place us well ahead of the curve to better serve our customers and to bring new engineered products to market even faster.”
A dozen 3D printers are already set up at the Additive Manufacturing Center, featuring multiple technologies including FDM, DMLS and SLA. By the end of the year, Techniplas Digital plans to have 20 additional high-speed 3D printers up and running as well. It won’t be strictly additive manufacturing happening at the center, however; Techniplas is serious about implementing hybrid manufacturing techniques, such as hybrid tooling using 3D printed materials. Hybrid tooling combines traditional tool and mold bases with 3D printed modular plugin inserts. The combination of the technologies allows for shorter production runs and better manufacturing flexibility.
“We are moving quickly to eliminate many of the traditional constraints that most manufacturing companies face today,” said Avi Reichental, Vice-Chairman of Techniplas and CEO of Techniplas Digital. “Our new facility brings together the latest in generative-design tools including metamaterials mesostructural-optimization capabilities and high-speed, UV-curable polymer 3D printing. We plan to leverage our new Additive Manufacturing Center to deliver cognitive connected products and services for a cleaner, lighter, more-personal world.”
The new Additive Manufacturing Center will also involve collaboration with early stage companies to develop advanced algorithms that will help Techniplas improve its digital thread and manufacturing capabilities. New developments include a cloud-based generative design platform that automatically compiles lightweight and metamaterial lattice structures on demand based on specified requirements such as size, weight, strength, style, material, cost, etc. Generative design is picking up momentum lately across the additive manufacturing industry as it allows for optimized design for manufacturing.
Techniplas Digital describes itself as “pushing mobility forward” by combining traditional and new technologies into one manufacturing process. It certainly isn’t the only company embracing 3D printing alongside older manufacturing technologies to create hybrid techniques, but the opening of the Additive Manufacturing Center – as well as the establishment of the digital business unit itself – shows that the company is serious, and well-equipped, to take automotive manufacturing into the future through digital technology.
Techniplas has a presence on 5 continents, with 15 production facilities, 8 technical and sales centers, and 13 trade partners. You can learn more about the company’s new technical division, Techniplas Digital, here. Discuss in the Techniplas forum at 3DPB.com.[Photos: Laurent Leger Adame for Techniplas]
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