In addition to the Reshape awards, the automotive industry marked the IN(3D)USTRY expo in Barcelona. Norbert Martin Olivares, Head of the DKM Models Department at SEAT, cars’ manufacturer, stands out from the range of cars’ manufacturers, parts or services suppliers, by explaining their use of 3D printing technology in their latest model, the SEAT Arona.
The use of additive manufacturing technology
Olivares explained that SEAT made use of 3D printing to improve three specific phases of the production process of the Arona.
The design phase for instance incorporate a great use of 3D design technology, which facilitated thereafter the use of 3D printing techniques.
Secondly, rapid prototyping was used to create new parts and components.
Last, 3D printing enables the creation of a new range of specialized assembly tools necessary to the production line.
A few components and parts made using 3D printing technology
The fog light and wing mirror at the front of the car are made with FDM techniques and high-quality thermoplastics.
On the exterior of the vehicle, the sunroof, spoiler and windscreen also benefited from the use of 3D printing.
Furthermore, some of the interior components were made using conventional injection molding and others were 3D printed. This allowed the designers to evaluate the different renderings and decide which one was most appropriate for the large production.
The cars’ market
For now, SEAT has nothing to envy to other manufacturers since the company really takes advantage of the 3D printing potential that already exists in Catalonia.
Its additive manufacturing strategy is closely followed by the evolution of production line robotics.
The FCA Group (Alfa Romeo, Jeep and other international brands) on the one hand, Renault’s Head of Design Innovation and Advanced Technologies, Melanie Barriere were also part of the IN(3D)USTRY expo where they showcased the use of 3D printing technology in their latest innovations.
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