How do an idea of a car come into reality? The forming of an idea has not change much. But the way of coming to reality has been updating. In industry 4.0, additive manufacturing has been re-shaped manufacture in many industries, especially auto industry.
Car Model Design
After the car designer has designed the inspiration and concept through discussion and communication, the car company will make a 1:5 clay model for different design schemes. After review, select 2-3 schemes and then carry out a 1:1 full-size clay model. Then conduct wind test, modify, and determine the final plan.
The traditional full-size car clay model is completely artificially carved. This method is time-consuming and laborious and the quality of the model cannot be well guaranteed. It takes about 3 months to make a complete vehicle model. With the advancement of technology, the full-size vehicle models of major auto manufacturers are basically milled by 5-axis milling machines. It takes at least one month to make a car model in this way.
With Kings large scale SLA 3D printers, 1:1 size car model can be printed in just a few days by modifying data on the computer. Comparing with clay car model, 3D printing can shorten the process by at least five times, lower the cost by half and no need of artificial sculpture.
Engineering Design Stage
In this stage, it includes the assembly design and parts design of the whole vehicle, coordination of the contradiction between assemblies and whole vehicles. Each new vehicle has more than 20,000 parts and many parts are not in mold production stage. Therefore, the original test parts and assembly products are all made by CNC machining and sheet metal.
First of all, the surface effect and accuracy of CNC machining prototypes also have a lot to do with the skills of programmers. Secondly, five-axis machining centers are needed for some workpieces with complex shapes and many machining surfaces, which are expensive and even impossible to process them properly.
Kings 3D combines SLA 3D printing with vacuum forming (low pressure infusion) to form a rapid mold manufacturing method. First, Kings high-precision SLA printer prints a prototype of the product; second, a silicone mold is produced with this 3D prototype under vacuum pressure; third, casting with material like PU under a low pressure vacuum state, the product is finished. It is with performance comparable to finished injection molded products, which can replace parts made of ABS, PC, rubber and other materials. It not only ensures accuracy and reduces costs but also improves production efficiency greatly!
For example: There are many front grille and curved surface structures of a car. This kind of full grid complex modeling is very difficult to process on traditional machine tools. By 3D printing these complex partial parts and then inlaying them into the vehicle model, you can achieve the desired effect.
Prototype Testing Stage
Vehicle prototype testing including two aspects: performance and reliability tests. Performance test is mainly for some functional tests to see if it meets design requirements. Reliability test is to verify the strength and durability of the vehicle. Automobile tests include wind tunnel test, field test, road test, crash test, etc.
At this stage, there are high requirements for the materials of test pieces. Parts with structural strength need to be processed by CNC. For automobile interior and exterior parts, 3D printing and vacuum compound moulding can be applied.
Mass Production of Automobile Mold
Casting mould technology is using other easy- forming shape of the materials, and then Place the mold in the sand mold , so the sand mould was formed in a cavity same as parts structure size, and then pouring liquid liquid in the cavity, the liquid can be formed after cooling solidification and exactly the same parts of the mold shape. The requirements of casting molds such as automobile cover parts and cylinder block also reach 10 ~ 20 microns. Traditional CNC in making prototype can meet the requirements, but time-consuming and high-coast.
Kings large format SLA 3D printer Kings1700 with multi-laser head can be used to make the prototype of the sand molds. The high precision SLA 3D printing technology ensures the maximum accuracy of the product prototype. It helps foundry enterprises to simplify the production process and reduce the cost.
After-sales Maintenance Stage
Users of high-end customized vehicles like sports cars and modified cars usually order a few replacement accessories from manufacturers like overseas or use mold production to make them at large cost.
There are few customers thinking about 3D printing technology. It can be very cost-effective to make those parts with SLA printing.
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