Volkswagen will use 3D printers to mass produce parts

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Volkswagen has discovered a brand new means to make use of a 3D printer: To mass produce automobile elements.

The world’s largest carmaker unveiled plans Tuesday to begin utilizing HP metallic printing expertise to fabricate choose elements together with gear knobs and customized tailgate lettering.

Volkswagen stated that it desires to mass produce structural elements utilizing the expertise inside two to 3 years.

“An entire automobile will in all probability not be manufactured by a 3D printer any time quickly, however the quantity and measurement of elements from the 3D printer will improve considerably,” stated Martin Goede, the automaker’s head of expertise planning and improvement.

3D printing just isn’t extraordinary in auto manufacturing, however it has up to now been used for prototypes and particular person elements. The everyday Volkswagen is constructed utilizing as much as eight,000 elements.

“A giant benefit of [3D printing] is it permits us to supply many of those elements with out first having to construct manufacturing instruments,” stated Goede.

volkswagen 3D printing
Volkswagen will use 3D printers to make elements together with gear knobs.

Volkswagen (VLKAF) already has 90 3D printers in its crops, that are used to make replacements for uncommon elements.

However the carmaker stated the brand new expertise will enable for even “extremely confused” elements like pistons to be printed. The printer spits out layer upon layer of fabric till they’re baked right into a single piece.

HP (HPQ) stated its new metallic printing service will not be restricted to automobile elements.

“The implications are enormous — the auto, industrial, and medical sectors alone produce billions of metallic elements annually,” HP CEO Dion Weisler stated in a press release.

CNNMoney (London) First printed September 11, 2018: 12:04 PM ET

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