3D printing is one of the hottest trends in the industry for its experimental applications, but for German auto company Opel, the use of this technology is more of an essential practice than an option. The automaker’s manufacturing process involves 40 custom 3D printed tools to complete every vehicle’s assembly. A team of six specialists uses these reusable plastic tools in the design and production of the new ADAM ROCKS car.
A World of Advantages
3D tools practically streamline every stage of the process. Custom parts can be produced in a matter of hours, and therefore can be made available for use faster. They make the production more efficient, as they reduce trial and error. Compared to traditionally manufactured assembly tools, 3D printed materials relatively cost only 10%.
A Guinea Pig for Now
Opel is currently one of the leaders in incorporating 3D printed tools in manufacturing under the GM umbrella. The mother company may implement this practice throughout the organization if 3D’s cost-effective and time-saving benefits are proven to be actually reasonable.
If everything goes well, this innovation would soon populate the entire industry and take the speed of car manufacturing a notch higher.