Volkswagen to mass customise 100,000 3D printed units per year using the newly launched HP Metal Jet 3D Printer
News from the 3D printing industry | 14 September 2018
HP Metal Jet 3D printed gear shift for Volkswagen. Photo via HP
“HP’s new Metal Jet 3D printing platform unlocks the speed, quality, and economics to enable our customers to completely rethink the way they design, manufacture, and deliver new solutions in the digital age.”
The launch of HP Metal Jet 3D printer, working on the same basis as Multi Jet Fusion(MJF) binder jetting 3D printers, marks HP’s entry into the metal Additive Manufacturing sector.
The German auto giant Volkswagen has confirmed as an early-access customer to this HP technology. They have been experimenting with the AM technology for several years now, but it is only now when they are realising the use cases of it.
“Automotive production is facing major challenges: our customers are increasingly expecting more personalization options. At the same time, complexity is increasing with the number of new models,” states Dr Goede, Volkswagen’s Head of Technology Planning and Development. “That’s why we are relying on state-of-the-art technologies to ensure a smooth and fast production.”
Volkswagen started with a small production series of individualised gear knobs which can be easily personalised to include customised lettering. There is no need to build custom tooling for the new parts leading to saving on lead times.
Sample metal 3D printed water connectors for the Audi W12 engine. Photo via Volkswagen AG
“In the long term,” adds Dr Goede: “We expect a continuous increase in unit numbers, part sizes and technical requirements – right up to soccer-size parts of over 100,000 units per year.”
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