On today’s program we have Nissan cutting up to 95% of manufacturing costs with 3D printing, a Ford GT40 getting repaired with 3D scanning and a completely 3D printed car gearbox. Let's jump right in.
0:00 - Intro
0:14 - Nissan and 3D Printing
2:57 - Ford GT40 3D Scan
5:10 - 3D Printed Titanium Gearbox
Starting off with Nissan, the Japanese automaker has found a way to cut costs by up to 95% through 3D printing of jigs, fixtures and other tools. 90 freaking 5 percent, guys & gals, we keep saying it, when are you going to jump in? We’ve got all the tools you need in our store! At Nissan’s assembly plant in Barcelona, Spain, the factory has chosen to fabricate 700 different types of tools, jigs and fixtures with some of the devices costing as little as $4.
Previously Nissan outsourced its prototypes and jigs to mechanical suppliers that used traditional manufacturing like CNC to make the jigs. Part quality was great but the lead times were long and inflexible, not to mention the astronomically high costs. Simple machined tools could cost $475 each. 3D printing some of these parts in-house has cut down the time needed to design, refine and produce parts from one week... to one day and slashed costs by 95%.
The team at Nissan is using BCN3D printers, essentially high-quality but standard-capability run-of-the-mill standard material printers, to produce a multitude of products -- some of these included a tool to fix a windshield centering gauge, a drill positioning tool and a jig to position and cure the model name on vehicles. Nissan is currently printing in plastics but is also looking to expand into metal printing. On top of that, the plant only has 4 of these BCN3D printers running 24/7. Have any of you used 3D printing for jigs and fixtures? If not, you’re almost definitely wasting time and money, but let us know in the comment section down below.
Next, we have vintage car enthusiast Chris Ashton using 3D scanning technology to modify and customize his Ford GT40, one of only 126 ever made by the blue oval. He used an Artec Space Spider and an Artec Eva 3D Scanner to reproduce complex parts very quickly and as close to the real thing as possible.
Chris Ashton’s Ruffian Cars is a California-based company that builds and modifies sports cars and they have already dipped their toes into additive manufacturing to reproduce parts. However, their process often required numerous iterations before getting a model to be as close as possible to the correct dimensions. Enter 3D Scanning. Now the process is much quicker as they now can reproduce highly accurate 3D models of existing car parts. The team over at Ruffian scanned the entire Ford GT40 for their upcoming project. The new car, a fully custom widebody GT40 will be unveiled at SEMA 2021 later this year. So -- if you had no limites -- what would you reverse engineer and create with a 3D Scanner? Leave it in the comments down below. Also, If you’re interested in 3D scanning, check out this playlist in the top right corner right about… now!
Next, we have Rodin Cars, a New Zealand based supercar manufacturer introducing an 8 speed sequential 3D printed gearbox for its FZero hypercar. The company has been working closely with 3D Systems to optimize the design and print process and recently purchased a Factory 500 metal printing system from 3D Systems.
Typically gearboxes are created using traditional manufacturing methods requiring casting or machining from billet material. Not only is this slow, but it also results in heavier final parts usually not suitable for track conditions. That’s why Rodin turned to 3D printing in titanium so they could create something that was compact, light, strong and durable.
3D Systems’ Application Innovation Group helped Rodin optimize the design of the gearbox with their experience in motorsport and other industries as well as the printing process to ensure consistent, high quality parts on the Factory 500 machine. That is one thing we hear about a lot -- the processes for most of these machines are still being refined.
What would you print with a Factory 500 system? Leave it in the comments section down below. If you’re interested in functional 3D printing, hit us up on our website or give us a call. We use and sell all kinds of machines, and can help you find the right one.
At Vision Miner, we specialize in Functional 3D printing, especially high-performance plastics like PEEK, ULTEM, PPSU, PPS, CFPA, and more. If you're interested in using functional 3D printing and materials in your business, feel free to reach out, and we can help you make the right choice for your application.
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