In the automotive industry, additive manufacturing has become a high priority, with this technology frequently being used in development and production. Ideas can be implemented faster, time and money can be saved. Speed and flexibility bring advantages over the competition. Different car parts and prototypes are developed with the help of additive manufacturing and thus a faster achievement of the series maturity is possible. In prototyping, fixtures, production and assembly aids, additive manufacturing technology has become the standard with end products available in various robust and flexible materials. German RepRap has been supplying the BMW Group for several years. The German RepRap x500 is used, for example, for the production of prototypes in the field of pre-development, which helps to secure the deadlines, costs and quality goals.
The application of additive manufacturing (AM) technology is diverse – from classic spare parts, for example, from old-timers that are no longer produced, to tools and auxiliary equipment, to parts that are used as end products. One of the most decisive advantages is the high degree of design freedom.
AM enables designers to develop completely new approaches in terms of design and function. Components with complex structures as well as bionic shapes, which are otherwise difficult or even impossible to manufacture, can be realized relatively simply, faster and in suitable quality with this technology. German RepRap offers the corresponding material diversity. High-temperature materials, fiber-reinforced or flexible materials are used in different areas, depending on the requirements of the application. In addition, the car manufacturer benefits from a shorter production time as well as lower costs, because no tools have to be produced for the production any more.
Enormous savings potential often still lurks in the production processes of the companies. The use of additive manufacturing can save resources such as time and money as well as optimize processes. Supplier bottlenecks can be avoided. The issue of flexibility is often a deciding factor, especially when it comes to faster target attainment.
German RepRap GmbH