Audi develops additive manufacturing production for tooling
News from the 3D printing industry | 12 April 2019
The German company, Audi has expanded its production at its Volkswagen Group R8 facilitty, the Böllinger Höfe, with a new 3D printing area. The department is producing custom 3D printed parts as auxiliary tools to reduce maintenance costs.
“Our goal is to provide our Audi colleagues the 3D printed tool as quickly as possible, thus supporting them in their daily work.” , Waldemar Hirsch, Audi Sport 3D printing coordinator at the Böllinger Höfe in Heilbronn, Germany.
An additive manufactured auxiliary tool being fitted on production line machinery. Photo via Audi
Audi’s Böllinger Höfe wishes to accelerate automotive production. With this new separate department, which completely focuses on manufacturing tools to support production, Audi hopes that its employees will learn how to produce additive manufactured instrument. With four 3D printers operating in this area daily including systems from Ultimaker and MarkerBot, this new department is 3D printing casting molds and safety devices.
“By establishing a separate specialist department for 3D printing, we are professionalizing this already successful project. Employees will be able to benefit from the experienced expert team and the custom auxiliary tools in the future.”, Helmut Stettner, Plant Director at the Audi plant in Neckarsulm
Also, the willingness of Audi to develop a worldwide 3D printing network for Volkswagen, won the company the 2018 3D Printing Industry Award for Automotive Application of the Year. To pursue its goals, in addition to prototyping and tooling, Audi has also implemented metal 3D printing for end use car parts. In this way, the Audi Pre-Series Center in Ingolstadt, Germany, continued its collaboration with SLM Solutions to 3D print metal prototypes and spare parts on-demand.