Automaker SEAT has this week introduced the launch of their very own 3D Printing LAB.
The lab is positioned within the SEAT Prototype Improvement Centre at their predominant plant in Martorell in Barcelona, Spain.
Like different automakers who’ve been turned onto 3D printing, SEAT are hoping to enhance their manufacturing actions with additive manufacturing for cover of prototypes, speedy tooling manufacture and in addition probably finish use elements.
When it comes to capabilities, SEAT has geared up themselves with 9 printers together with powder mattress fusion applied sciences, materials jetting & filament deposition applied sciences.
This assortment of varied machine sorts ought to enable for a variety of useful and aesthetic elements for manufacture.
The LAB runs for 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, and in the intervening time produces 50 elements day by day, amounting to over 80kg of nylon energy and 12 rolls of filament per 30 days.
“One of many benefits is that we are able to apply infinite geometries and perform any kind of high-precision design for all areas of the manufacturing unit, nonetheless difficult it could appear.” stated Norbert Martín, head of the 3D Printing LAB. “And all in occasions which can be unattainable to realize with the traditional course of”.
SEAT factors out one of many predominant benefits as being the discount in lead time for prototype elements in comparison with the normal injection molding course of.
“Utilizing conventional applied sciences it might take weeks to have a component and with 3D printing it’s prepared from at some point to the subsequent,” stated Martin.
“This allows us to make a number of variations in the identical week, which will be examined and modified once more to enhance them.”
Whereas is is predicted that 80% of machine time might be devoted to producing prototype automotive half and customized, low-volume elements for commerce reveals, the ability has already been lending a hand within the battle towards coronavirus, having manufactured face protect strap extenders and door openers.
Like many automotive producers, SEAT additionally has an entire again catalogue of parts which can be not manufactured as a result of passage of time. The corporate can be seeking to make the most of 3D printing to help with legacy half manufacturing.
“If, for instance, you want a component from considered one of our historic fashions that’s not in manufacturing, we are able to print it,” stated Martin.
One could surprise, “why now?”. Has SEAT simply found 3D printing?
We don’t know why now precisely. However earlier this 12 months SEAT introduced that their CUPRA Leon Competición racecar (see video beneath) could be fitted with a wide range of additive manufactured parts.
The 3D printed parts on the racecar embrace wing mirrors, steering wheel centre management module, hood air vents, and the brake and water cooling inlets. For these elements SEAT used HP’s Multi Jet Fusion know-how.
Along with the light-weight parts and the speedy turnaround time anticipated from 3D printing, SEAT additionally added some performance to their door mirror: they added consumption vents to divert air into the cabin, to maintain the motive force cool!
So will we see 3D printed elements on manufacturing fashions in future?
For now it appears unlikely, given the gradual pace of 3D printing in comparison with the excessive throughput of automotive manufacturing strains.
Possibly in the event that they break a lug on their airbox we would see some stowaway AM elements discovering their method into the wild, like Tesla did.
Till then, anticipate to see extra AM on race vehicles.
You may see a video of the brand new Spanish facility beneath.
Pictures courtesy of SEAT
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