Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

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Thread: Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

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    Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

    Opel Media Online
    2014-08-20

    - Rüsselsheim’s Virtual Engineering Team exploits potential of 3D printing
    - 40 assembly tools from 3D printer to be used in production of ADAM ROCKS
    - Leading role in 3D printing within GM Group



    Rüsselsheim. For some, it may still seem like a long way off, but it’s already part of everyday life at Opel: assembly tools produced by a 3D printer are an increasingly important part of the production process. A six-strong team led by Virtual Simulation Engineer Sascha Holl prints plastic assembly tools in Rüsselsheim which are used in Opel manufacturing plants across Europe. Cheaper and quicker to produce, these tools are being used at Eisenach for the assembly of the ADAM and its new ADAM ROCKS stable-mate. And this is just the beginning – Opel experts predict the use of tools from a 3D printer will continue to grow. “In the future, more and more 3D assembly tools will be integrated into the production process,” says Sascha Holl.

    For production of the ADAM ROCKS, to be launched in September, the Eisenach carmakers use an assembly jig – a specific, fixed frame – made by a 3D printer to produce the vehicle name logotype on the side window. And for the windshield, a 3D-printed inlet guide is also used to simplify the mounting process and help ensure a precise alignment. Other tools from the printer are used to fasten the chrome step plate on ADAM ROCKS door openings and install the standard Swing Top canvas roof. Around 40 such assembly aids and jigs are used in Eisenach.

    This equipment was developed on the computer during the development phase of ADAM ROCKS. “It enables us to quickly adapt the parts. If something changes on the vehicle, we can easily modify the tool with just a few clicks,” explains Holl. “The 3D printing process enables us to produce every imaginable form and shape. Unlike conventional manufacturing technology, we don’t have to accept any limitations.”

    The Virtual Engineering Team in Rüsselsheim only has to reach into their bag of tricks when it comes to the maximum size of parts built. Using sophisticated technology to join a number of smaller elements, it is possible to produce larger parts. For instance, when developing an assembly aid for the side sill or the rear spoiler of ADAM ROCKS.

    During 3D printing, plastic is melted and laid down in successive layers, each just 0.25 mm thick. The plastic used is light, robust and versatile. Hollow spaces and overhangs are automatically treated with a filling material, which is later washed away in a type of dishwasher. “The process is comparable to bridge or balustrade construction,” says Holl. “There high or protruding elements must also be shored up and supported until everything has hardened off. Only then is the supporting framework removed.”

    The small number of jigs required in final assembly was previously made by hand in an elaborate process using a milled cast and resin. Thanks to 3D printing, the production cost of these aids is now reduced by up to 90 percent. In addition, the printed tools are ready to use after just about eight hours, and are up to 70 percent lighter in weight. Another advantage is that these aids can be mechanically and chemically processed. For example, they can be drilled, milled, sanded, varnished and bonded, or connected and combined with various other materials. Ergonomic fine-tuning can also be carried out on a PC in a matter of minutes. “We can adapt the tools for each assembly situation, as well as make them user-friendly for our colleagues on the line,” adds Holl.

    Production of the Opel Insignia and Cascada convertible also benefits from 3D printer tools, which will be introduced step-by-step for the assembly of other Opel models. The new Corsa, Vivaro and Mokka, which will begin rolling off the assembly lines in Zaragoza later this year, will be among models built with the help of tools from a 3D printer. Their increasing use makes Opel a leader in this field within the GM Group.



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    Re: Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

    GE is 3D printing fuel lines for there NEW engines and claim it is 90% cheeper and can be ONE piece instead of many machined sub assemblies so also LOWER maintenance / failure "points"

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    Re: Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

    I'm expecting big things for our not so distant future from 3D printing. There's always bad that comes with the good. I'm thinking jobs lost to automation here. But the list of materials that can be printed with one of these types of machines seems to grow by the day.

    We're slowly learning how to print with biological material (organs, skin, etc.), as well as with various metals. A huge breakthrough in modern medicine is right around the corner. Not to mention the way we consume products.

    Want a shift knob for the Vette? Buy the files off Amazon and print that **** out at home... out of titanium.

    If you have young children, and care about their future, buy them a MakerBot ASAP.
    Last edited by ZR2BlaZeR2; 08-20-2014 at 02:38 PM.
    Park the s**tbox and come with me.

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    Re: Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

    I think this is just the beginning of what will eventually be Star Trek style replicators.

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    Re: Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

    Quote Originally Posted by ZR2BlaZeR2 View Post
    I'm expecting big things for our not so distant future from 3D printing. There's always bad that comes with the good. I'm thinking jobs lost to automation here. But the list of materials that can be printed with one of these types of machines seems to grow by the day.

    We're slowing learning how to print with biological material (organs, skin, etc.), as well as with various metals. A huge breakthrough in modern medicine is right around the corner. Not to mention the way we consume products.

    Want a shift knob for the Vette? Buy the files off Amazon and print that **** out at home... out of titanium.

    If you have young children, and care about their future, buy them a MakerBot ASAP.
    there are WEB sites you can go to that will make your object on demand
    http://www.thingiverse.com
    http://www.shapeways.com
    http://www.sculpteo.com/en/
    I read about some one who broke an EXPENSIVE part on there kids pram and designed/ordered a new one that was BETTER then the OE design from shapeways.com

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    ZR2BlaZeR2 (08-20-2014)

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    Re: Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

    Quote Originally Posted by richmond2000 View Post
    there are WEB sites you can go to that will make your object on demand
    http://www.thingiverse.com
    http://www.shapeways.com
    http://www.sculpteo.com/en/
    I read about some one who broke an EXPENSIVE part on there kids pram and designed/ordered a new one that was BETTER then the OE design from shapeways.com
    I love the kits you can buy that are just the basics then you print out the extra parts that make it a higher performing machine and build it yourself.
    Park the s**tbox and come with me.

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    Re: Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

    One would be handy in war zone or at sea if you don't have the right spare parts. Even if the 3D part is not as durable it may allow you to continue using something until the proper spare arrives.

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    Re: Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

    Maybe buick can 3 d print the little adam pig for themselves?

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    Re: Tools from 3D Printer Make Car Manufacturing Easier at Opel

    Quote Originally Posted by richmond2000 View Post
    GE is 3D printing fuel lines for there NEW engines and claim it is 90% cheeper and can be ONE piece instead of many machined sub assemblies so also LOWER maintenance / failure "points"
    Anything to make manufacturing quicker, and hopefully cheaper.

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