How many times have we looked at Audi cars & were awestruck?
Audi has it’s own benchmark when it comes to its products. They are a league apart and challenge the status quo.
But little that we know of their Product Design & Development strategies, They also challenge other companies in terms of Design, Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies. This Post will give you an idea of how Audi has adopted Additive Manufacturing Technology & Used it for its advantages that not a lot of Market Dominators do even though they have the finances. It Boils down to Audi’s Design language and unique innovative thinking which involves advanced engineering knowledge and also a desire to be a market leader in the segment. And that’s exactly what Audi has done with the way they use Additive Manufacturing Technology.
What makes Audi’s product line very unique from other automakers?
It all lies in the way Audi does Product Design & Development with a technology-driven mindset. We cannot just refer Audi to be another automobile manufacturer just because they manufacture cars. It is in fact, an iconic brand that has transformed the automotive industry in a lot of ways with their innovative technologies ranging from Vehicle Dynamics, Engine Efficiency, Garage Parking, Dynamic Suspension which predicts the road condition & changes accordingly, With the use of Fibre-reinforced Plastics Which are 40% Lighter Than Regular Coil Suspension, OLED Bases Pixels to detect body anomalies in prototyping but entirely focuses on driving experience. In Fact, these technologies are not even 5% of the technologies Audi Uses in their Product Lines. Audi is definitely a unique market leader.
In addition, they have made their vision statement to be “Tech Driven Business Strategy”. That’s what drives them to innovate superior technologies. Be it Luxury Sedans, Coupe’s, Sportscar, SUVs they have been competitive with the market leaders in terms of innovation & technology.
So, let us look into a recent innovative approach, taken by Audi.
How Audi has adopted Additive Manufacturing Technology?
Audi has been embracing Additive Manufacturing technology. Recently, the Audi Pre-
Series Center situated in Ingolstadt, Germany has taken up Stratasys J750 full-color, multi-material 3D Printer in order to accelerate its product design & development creating efficient prototypes and stimulating the design verification procedures.
The primary goal of coming up with the Pre-Series Center is to subject the new component designs to meticulous testing and verification before releasing it into the current market. Audi has also been operating with SLM aka Selective Laser Melting solutions through which it has incorporated SLM technology to generate prototypes and necessary parts.
So, how does this Stratasys J750 function to ensure Audi’s effectiveness?
Stratasys J750 for Audi is the first of its kind that uses full-color and multi-material capabilities which are far advanced and superior when it comes to rapid prototyping. With the assistance of this printer, Audi’s Plastics 3D Printing Center Team will be
capable of prototyping tail lights that have a multicolor composition in a single procedure. There is absolutely no need for assembling multiple parts to create these Audi tail lights thus reducing a lot of time in the Product Development Cycle.
With the help of the Stratasys J750 3D Printer, Audi has gained a superior advantage by being able to print the designs according to the specific textures and colors required by the Product Development Team.
This full-color, multi-material Stratasys J750 printer has helped the product development team achieve a significant reduction in the lead time required for prototyping by nearly 50% for certain parts.
Since Audi’s customers consistently look for design & technical specifications before buying; Generating prototypes imbibed with Specific Part Geometries, Null Distortion, and tailor-made part color gives them an upper hand than other manufacturers who are not technology driven.
All these requirements are met by the advanced Stratasys J750 3D Printer.
Polyjet 3D Printers have revolutionized the way how things work in Audi’s Plastics 3D
With reduced lead time by incorporating Stratasys J750 3D Printer for Prototyping Tail Lamps, more time is diverted to other parts of the vehicle, thus reducing the
overall lead time of the Product Design & Development Team.
Now that we know how Stratasys J750 3D Printer has assisted Audi on another level of Design, Development & innovation, it is important that we look into the capabilities of Stratasys J750 to comprehend the working of this 3D Printer to truly understand its potential and be tech-driven in knowing its capabilities.
The Stratasys J750 – A Printer that is changing the way Manufacturers Develop Products
Stratasys has come up with this highly matured 3D Printing Technology that is currently
available for polymers, i.e., multi-material, multi-color digital liquid resin ink jetting technique.
This new Stratasys J750 represents the transformational face of 3D Printing Technology
wherein it supports the mixing as well as matching of a complete set of color gradients in
collaboration with an extraordinary range of polymer materials such that we achieve ultimate results without the necessity of any type of post-processing. The one-step realism featured in Stratasys J750 is backed up by a streamlined workflow that originates from a brand new PolyJet Studio.
The enhanced user interface of this J750 software allows its users to refer to a wide range of materials, create an optimized build structure, and effectively handle the print queues.
The availability of familiar design colors helps in easy allotment of colors, maintaining
transparencies, and ensuring the overall rigidity. With the help of VRML files that can be
imported from the available CAD tools, the color textures can be simultaneously loaded.
The availability of eloquent color materials gives us a mix of high-quality detailed
visualization and strength that is undoubtedly a primary part of realistic prototypes. The
provision for automatic color mapping helps the particular design software to generate photo-realistic models. The neutrals can be mapped to neon ones, shadows in the models to highlights, and what not!
Advantages & Specifications of Stratasys J750
Stratasys J750 3D Printer comes with the option for selecting a variety of materials thus
allowing you to install nearly six materials at a single go. These materials can be of different types such as rigid, flexible, transparent, and opaque materials along with their components. Another remarkable feature of the Stratasys J750 is the presence of double print nozzles inside the print heads. With these print nozzles, you can effectively create ultra-smooth structure and relatively finer details that have a layer thickness of 0.014 mm, the finest one yet with its size being similar to half of the width of the cells in human skin. In addition to this, the real, full-color capability of Stratasys J750 resulting due to its operation in five varied colors helps it to generate parts that have more than 500,000 colors, gradients, durometers, textures, and transparencies.
All the prototyping and designing activities can be performed in an individual
print operation with the absence of any type of finishing steps such as painting, or sanding, or assembling. The Stratasys J750 also dramatically reduces the downtime corresponding to the material changeovers. With the availability of such a huge capacity of accommodating six different types of materials, the most utilized resins are kept loaded for the printing activities to be done.
So many advantages of this 3D Printer indicate the potential to transform the way various
Automakers Design & Develop their Products
Prior to the increased application of Additive Manufacturing Technology, there was a consistent inculcation of conventional methods, namely molding, sanding, milling, and others to generate the prototypes. Taking into consideration the specific
case of Audi, the tail lights of the Audi automobiles were created with the help of milling or
injection molding method. It was even more difficult to create multi-colored lights. For creating these different colored tail lights, they were subjected to milling and molding methods and were assembled together from numerous other parts.
However, additive manufacturing has easily eliminated these elongated assembly processes and thus are the important driving factors for increasing the design verification procedures.
Thus, it can be concluded that the methods and procedures included in the design verification processes carry much importance, especially for Automotive Manufacturing and Also to the Product Development Team. Only with the help of proper verification and testing processes, a new design idea can be either approved or rejected for producing a brand new vehicle. A wide range of vehicle parts starting from the door handles, car wheel covers, to the elemental radiator grills are subjected to prototyping at this particular stage of manufacturing.
Thanks to Additive Manufacturing Technology incorporated in Stratasys J750, Product Design & Development has never been this easy. At Chizel We use Polyjet Printers for our clients to make transparent & flexible parts. We have different materials for this exact purpose. We use Stratasys J650 which is equivalent to J750 & is cost effective. You can manufacture Tail-Lamps with different colors. The applications are endless with this technology.
To Know More About Manufacturing Technologies For Your Product, Upload your file and check out the materials available in COCO.