Project leads at Volkswagen high end/luxury car brands Audi and Porsche are conducting research into the benefits of 3D printing for future car production. In addition to the effective application of FDM for prototyping and reducing tooling costs, researchers at Audi’s Competence Center in Ingolstadt, Germany, and Porsche are adding metal to Volkswagen’s additive manufacturing portfolio, and researching the potential of carbon fibre reinforcements.
Counting the desktop 3D printers at Volkswagen Autoeuropa, the Volkswagen group in total, has 90 3D printers at 26 of its sites around the world.
At Volkswagen Osnabrück in Germanythere is currently project to demonstrate the potential of weight reduction by using 3D printing. In one example use case, a reinforced A-pillar window support has been optimally redesigned to constitute fewer parts, and weighs 74% less than it’s traditionally manufactured counterpart.
With less weight, cars consume less fuel, providing better performance for the manufacturer and the customer.