As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, we have seen a new side of 3D printing—and its community of users on many different levels—as designs and products were needed to rapidly fill orders for personal protective equipment, medical equipment prototypes and nose swabs. While business is booming for these items, obviously, a GM team, now made up of over 700 employees trained in the use of additive manufacturing technology, expects its 3D printing facilities to stay busy long afterward.
At the end of last year, GM purchased 17 new Stratasys FDM 3D printers to begin taking advantage of classic benefits like speed in production, the ability to make strong yet lighter weight products, as well as saving on the bottom line.
“With the pace of change in modern industry accelerating and business uncertainty increasing, 3D printing technology is helping us meet these challenges and become more nimble as a company,” said GM’s director of additive manufacturing, Ron Daul. “Additive manufacturing is consistently providing us more rapid and efficient product development, tooling and assembly aids, with even more benefits to come.”
GM took action to supply 3D printed parts related to the viral pandemic, with an edge due to extensive experience with prototyping for automotive parts, including the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette—featuring a model that is comprised of 75 percent 3D printed parts, allowing for rigorous testing.
When the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the company the contract in April to provide 30,000 parts for ventilators (working with Ventec Life Systems), the GM team was ready. The project involved GM employees reverse engineering part data for ventilator tooling fixtures, and beginning to 3D print almost immediately, using their Stratasys systems. When they became overloaded regarding volume, GM was able to request parts on-demand from Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.
[Source / Images: Business Wire]
“GM is making the smart investments in 3D printing to succeed in this new normal of uncertainty and disruption,” said Stratasys Americas President Rich Garrity. “As a result, GM has manufacturing lines that are more adaptable and less expensive, and products that are developed faster and better. They are a clear model for the future of additive manufacturing in the automotive industry.”
You May Also Like
Argonne National Lab Tests Weather Stations with Low-Cost Sensors and 3D Printed Components
For two years right out of college, I worked as an associate producer at a local CBS affiliate, and spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of...
LLNL Researchers Bioprint Living Aneurysm and Watch it Heal Post-Op
Cerebral aneurysms, caused by the artery walls in the brain weakening, affect roughly one in every 50 people in the US, and are distinguished by a bulging blood vessel, which...
I-nteract Allows User to Design, Feel and 3D Print Objects in Mixed Reality
Due to their general ubiquity, it may not be readily apparent just how unintuitive computers are for the process of 3D computer aided design (CAD). A mouse or trackpad along...
Smallest 3D Printed Boat Yields Possibilities for Nanotechnology
We’ve seen some big 3D printed Benchy boats before, but I bet you’ve never seen one this small! A team of researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands have published...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.