3D printing is revolutionizing the traditional manufacturing processes across various industries. Everything from simple to complex objects can now be 3D printed.Various companies are entering the fray to benefit from this revolution. Audi is a classic example of how 3D printing can be used.
Audi, the German automobile pioneer, has 3D printed an exact replica of the Silver Arrow Auto Union Type C Grand Prix Sports car from the year 1936, scaled at 1:2 using metal 3D printing. Audi, along with the Volkswagen group is experimenting on fabricating vehicle components as large as 7.9 inches high by 9.5 inches wide, out of Aluminum and Steel.
“We are pushing forward with new manufacturing technologies at Audi tool making and at the Volkswagen Group,” stated Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Audi’s Board of Management Member for Production and Head of tool making at the Volkswagen Group. “Together with partners in the area of research, we are constantly exploring the boundaries of new processes. One of our goals is to apply metal printers in series production.”
Metal 3D printers makes use of the additive manufacturing where a selective sintering laser melts layers of metallic powder with a grain size of half of the diameter of a human hair. This method makes the production of the components with complex shapes and relatively smaller sizes easy to fabricate unlike with traditional methods. This apparently cuts down the production costs, time and wastage of material.
Hopefully we will be able to see Audi along with Volkswagen group fabricate more 3D printed components scaled to full size in the future models.