Automotive Case Studies

Prototyping is the driving force behind great cars

Auto giants BMW and Jaguar Land Rover — as well as lean aftermarket providers like Minimizer — have found that nothing accelerates automotive design and manufacturing like 3D printing.

Check out these real-world success stories about impressively realistic headlamp prototypes; tough-as-nails test fenders; lightweight, ergonomic factory fixtures and other ways automotive engineers have used 3D printing to gain a competitive advantage.

Customer

Description

Industry

Technology

AMP Research

AMP Research’s engineers were able to easily and quickly produce physical models of the fuel door out of durable ABS plastic throughout the design process for testing and evaluation. 

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Automotive

FDM

Bentley Motors

Using patented PolyJet technology, Stratasys 3D Printers enable Bentley Motors to easily and quickly produce small-scale models, as well as full-size parts, for assessment and testing prior to production on the assembly line.

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Automotive

PolyJet

BMW

Rapid prototyping has become a standard practice in product development. At the BMW AG plant in Regensburg, Germany, FDM (fused deposition modeling) continues to be an important component in vehicle design prototyping. 

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Automotive

FDM

Dana Corp

Dana Corporation, a Tier One automotive supplier, assumes responsibility for designing components to meet its customers’ requirements. Validating these designs with prototypes from conventional machining and casting methods required weeks or months and tens of thousands of dollars. 

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Automotive

FDM

Ducati

By bringing FDM in-house, Ducati cut 20 months from the development process of the engine designed for its Desmosedici race bike. 

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Automotive

FDM

Hanil E-Hwa

Hanil E-Hwa has found that FDM is a crucial tool to eliminate the inevitable design flaws that arise when accelerating the product development and manufacturing process. 

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Automotive

FDM

Harman Becker

The Harman Becker design team sought a quick, effective and, above all, high-quality solution for developing functional 3D models. 

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Automotive

FDM

Hyundai Mobis

Korean-based Hyundai Mobis makes original and aftermarket equipment for the automotive industry, including Hyundai and Kia. In its drive to be best in class and a global top 10 supplier, it depends on prototyping for design verification, airflow evaluation, and functional testing. 

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Automotive

FDM

Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover installed an Objet Connex500 in the summer of 2008. The 3D printer was chosen for its multi-material capability, which combines two different materials and draws on their best attributes to deliver superior models.

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Automotive

PolyJet

Joe Gibbs Racing

We can build prototypes tough enough to bolt onto the car, even the engine block, for evaluation, and they can take the heat. 

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Automotive

FDM

Joe Gibbs Racing Filter

When it comes to safety, the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) design engineers don’t leave anything to chance. Thanks to a new SR-100 soluble support material used with Fused Deposition Modeling® (FDM) from Stratasys, they can now create complex carbon monoxide filter housings for their cars using polycarbonate (PC) material, which has a higher temperature rating than the previous material used. 

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Automotive

FDM

Klock Werks

Klock Werks engineers designed the gauge pod, fork tube covers, headlight bezel, floorboard mounts, floorboard undercovers, and wheel spacer cover in SolidWorks. 

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Automotive

FDM

Lamborghini

The Fortus build envelope was large enough to produce a 1/6 scale model of the body and chassis in one piece. The Lamborghini Lab built complete 1/6 scale prototypes of the body and chassis in two months, including printing out and assembling the parts. 

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Automotive

FDM

Mercury Customs

In order to streamline its design process, Mercury Customs decided to try a new tool in their shop - a Dimension 3D printer. "We were very impressed with the capabilities of the Dimension 3D printer," Takai said. 

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Automotive

FDM

Minimizer

With Minimizer’s onsite Fortus 3D Production System, Larsen can build functional prototypes in just hours or, for large parts, days. 

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Automotive

FDM

Northstar Manufacturing

After purchasing a Dimension SST 1200es 3D Printer, Miller and his team found parts that used to take three or four months to design and build now took a few days. 

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Automotive

FDM

Orange County Choppers

Over the last few years, OCC has begun producing more and more parts for its custom bikes on a Fortus 400mc 3D Production System. “What’s great about additive manufacturing is that you can work with the solid model created during the design process without any additional preparation,” said Jason Pohl, graphic artist and designer for OCC. 

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Automotive

FDM

Parker Hannifin-Racor

Parker Hannifin's Racor division recently designed an emissions filter that enables diesel engine manufacturers to meet new emission requirements. The company used its Fortus FDM system to create a PPSF (polyphenylsulfone) prototype of the filter. 

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Automotive

FDM

Polaris

Engineers designed the carrier rack in Pro/E and built it using a Stratasys 3D Production System, employing the FDM additive fabrication process. 

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Automotive

FDM

Urbee

Stratasys 3D Printers built Urbee, first prototype car to have entire body created with an additive process. 

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Automotive

FDM

Valeo

VALEO Shashi A/C chose the Objet Eden mainly because of its high-precision, ultra-thin-layer 3D printing process, which creates models that have outstanding detail and smoothly curved surfaces.

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Automotive

PolyJet