Audi and the Stratasys J750 3D Printer Expedite Prototyping of Tail Lights

IMTS

Share this Article

It was just over two years ago that Stratasys introduced the multi-color, multi-material J750 3D printer, which the company described as a machine that would “shake up the world.” It certainly has shaken up the 3D printing industry, bringing new possibilities to everything from art to eyewear to medical models and more. Now the J750 is making its mark on the automotive industry via Audi.

At Audi’s Pre-Series Center in Ingolstadt, Germany, which has a dedicated Plastics 3D Printing Center, employees build physical models and prototypes for the company to evaluate new designs and concepts. Parts such as wheel covers, door handles, and radiator grills are molded and milled to demonstrate new designs. The Pre-Series Center has been using 3D printing as well, allowing the team to accelerate design verification and overcome the limitations of conventional prototyping processes.

With tail light covers, milling or molding is typically used, but that presents some challenges due to the multi-colored covers of the tail light housing. These individual color parts must be assembled, since they can’t be produced in one piece, and the assembly takes time, increasing lead time and delaying time to market.

The J750 3D printer, however, is capable of creating those multi-colored, transparent parts in one piece, eliminating the need for multiple steps as before. The printer offers over 500,000 color combinations, meaning that parts can be produced in multiple colors and textures that meet Audi’s strict requirements.

“Design is one of the most important buying decisions for Audi customers, therefore it’s crucial we adhere to supreme quality standards during the design and concept phase of vehicle development,” said Dr. Tim Spiering, Head of the Audi Plastics 3D Printing Center. “As a result, we need prototypes to have exact part geometries, no distortion and extremely high quality, as well as true-to-part color and transparency. The Stratasys J750 3D Printer will offer us a significant advantage, as it allows us to print the exact textures and colors our design defines. This is essential for getting design concepts approved for production. In terms of 3D printing transparent parts, I have not seen a comparable technology that meets our standards.

“Using the J750 for the prototyping of tail light covers, we will be able to accelerate our design verification process. We estimate time-savings of up to 50 percent by using this 3D print technique in our prototyping process of tail light covers.”

Dr. Spiering is head of a 24-member team that provides Audi’s plastics 3D printing expertise, advice and production. The company has been using Stratasys 3D printers for years, having bought its first in 2002. The division now has 10 polymer 3D printers, including several Stratasys FDM and PolyJet 3D printers.

“Audi is a prime example of how our unique full color, multi-material 3D printing technology can combine several design processes into one, rapidly accelerating development cycles,” said Andy Middleton, President EMEA, Stratasys. “If you extend the time-savings achieved by Audi on the tail lights to other parts of the vehicle, the overall impact on time-to-market can be huge. We’re excited to see how Audi continues to leverage our FDM and PolyJet technologies into new application areas to further increase efficiencies across its development process.”

By using the Stratasys J750 3D printer, Audi expects to reduced prototyping lead times by up to 50 percent.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Images: Stratasys]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Interview: Rethinking 3D Printing for High-Volume Production with Exentis

3D Printing Financials: Prodways’ Q1 2024 Revenue Drop and Accounting Overhaul



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing Financials: Fathom Struggles in Financial Quicksand During Critical Transition

Facing a year of key transitions and financial pressures, Fathom (Nasdaq: FTHM) has filed its annual report for 2023 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The document outlines...

Latest Earnings Overview for Australian 3D Printing Firms Titomic and AML3D

Australian 3D printing manufacturing firms Titomic (ASX: TTT) and AML3D (ASX: AL3) reported their financial results for the period from July to December 2023, marking the first half of their...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: April 7, 2024

Webinars and events in the 3D printing industry are picking back up this week! Sea-Air-Space is coming to Maryland, and SAE International is sponsoring a 3D Systems webinar about 3D...

3D Printing Financials: Unpacking Farsoon and BLT’s 2023 Performance

In the Chinese 3D printing industry, two companies, Farsoon (SHA: 688433) and Bright Laser Technologies, or BLT (SHA: 688333), have recently unveiled their full-year earnings for 2023. Farsoon reported increases...