Volkswagen has invested in the full color, multi-material 3D printing technology from Stratasys to enhance its prototyping capabilities and open up new opportunities within automotive design. Following the installation of two PolyJet Technology-based Stratasys J850 3D Printers, the Volkswagen Pre-Series-Center is 3D printing a range of ultra-realistic prototypes for both interior and exterior applications.
Volkswagen has more than 25 years of 3D printing experience to innovate the design and production of vehicles. This latest investment allows Volkswagen’s design team to meet stringent quality requirements, with the capability to create complex multi-material prototypes that mirror final production parts with up to 99% precision. This level of realism will enable the team to better test and improve overall part designs.
The J850 lets Volkswagen engineers produce full-color prototypes in up to seven different materials varying in rigidity, flexibility, opaqueness, and transparency – all in one print. This saves significant time and costs over traditional multi-step design processes such as part assembly and painting.
For vehicle interiors, the Volkswagen Pre-Series-Center team is also 3D printing parts with different textured surfaces – from fabric and leather to wood. The use of an advanced transparent material called VeroUltraClear allows the team to replicate the clarity of glass.