Volkswagen opens 3D printing facility and will mass produce parts in 2 or 3 years

“In 2 or 3 years, you might drive a 3D printed car from Volkswagen”

It’s official, car manufacturer Volkswagen fully adopts digitization. The company announced the opening of a 3D printing center to its Toolmaking unit in Wolfsburg. We might therefore expect complex vehicle components both for prototyping and then series production.

HP plays a key role in this milestone since both companies collaborate to equip the new center with a set of advanced generation 3D printers. Furthermore, according to the pictures of the official launch, the facility seems to feature the 3D printing system MetalFAB1 from the Netherlands-based company Additive Industries.

“Official opening with 3D scissors: (from left to right) Oliver Schauerte, Head of Research, Materials and Production Processes, Eckhard Ritz, Head of Toolmaking, Volkswagen brand, and Uwe Schwartz, Head of Planning, Volkswagen brand, together open the 3D printing center.” Caption and photo via Volkswagen

The 3D printing centre takes VW’s additive manufacturing activities to a new level,” Dr. Andreas Tostmann, Volkswagen brand production chief, commented during the opening ceremony. “In two to three years’ time, [3D] printing will also become interesting for the first production parts. In the future, we may be able to use 3D printers directly on the production line for vehicle production.

The opening of this center brings the company’s activities in AM to a new level. Indeed, the car manufacturer already customizes components such as key rings and exterior-mounted name plates. Using HP’s binder jetting, it will be able to produce quality functional parts with significant structural requirements.

Oliver Pohl, Head of Additive Manufacturing at VW, concludes, “Here, we have created an innovative centre which will be of tremendous strategic importance for Volkswagen in the future.”

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