In this month’s AM Focus we sought out to answer one big question: how far along is automotive digital mass production using 3D printing technologies. The answer is: not that far at all. In fact, it’s already here.
Altogether millions of automotive parts have already been produced by 3D printing and almost all major automakers see 3D printing as a key technology for their future production capabilities. True mass production in a segment such as automotive can be measured in billions of parts and that maybe still a few years away. Every long journey begins with the first step – or the first 18 million steps – as is the case for HP, one of the companies that is driving this paradigm shift for the automotive segment. We had the opportunity to speak about how this is happening and how it will develop in the near future with Philipp Jung, GM and Global Head, Vertical Industries and End-to-End Applications, HP 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing and he revealed some very interesting numbers.
AM Focus 2020
3dpbm’s exclusive eBook on Automotive AM
3dpbm: Why is the automotive vertical one of the key verticals for HP?
Philip Jung: “Since entering the market in 2016 we’ve worked closely with designers and engineering companies, suppliers, and leading automakers like BMW, all looking to leverage the power of additive manufacturing and specifically HP Multi Jet Fusion for automotive parts. When we launched HP Metal Jet in 2018 we did so side by side with GKN and Volkswagen. Working with some of the industry’s most innovative global leaders certainly influences our focus, but there are some important strategic criteria that make automotive a core vertical for HP. The size of the market but the current size and potential for growth. The synergies with HP innovation and technology and the needs of the automotive market, including our platforms, materials and other capabilities such as software and data intelligence, regulatory compliance, and the opportunity for breakthrough economics. Finally, we have found the automotive industry willing to work hand-in-hand with us to identify the most compelling use cases, to iterate and to advocate for the capabilities of both Multi Jet Fusion and Metal Jet to meet the demands of the massive transformation underway in the industry.
3dpbm: Which do you see as the most relevant applications of Multi Jet Fusion technology in automotive production today?
PJ: “First, many automotive suppliers are looking at Multi Jet Fusion to reduce time constraints and costs associated with traditional manufacturing. An example is Linear AMS, a leading manufacturing service provider for the production of injection molded and 3D-printed plastic and metal parts for the automotive, consumer products, and industrial sectors. Linear AMS is pioneering new applications using Multi Jet Fusion technology to reduce overall tooling costs, streamline designs, and provide parts for some of the world’s largest automakers. Engineering firms, suppliers and automakers themselves have identified the opportunity to move to virtual inventory and eliminate tooling as huge advantages that provide extreme flexibility in production and quickly iterate when changes are required. Extol, a systems integrator for plastics assembly equipment that supports the auto industry is already taking advantage of its Jet Fusion 5200 systems to develop entirely new use cases.
In the full interview, Mr. Jung answers on more of the topics below, revealing some key numbers about automotive production using HP 3D printing technologies.
You can find the complete interview with Mr. Jung in 3dpbm’s exclusive Automotive AM eBook, that you can view or download, absolutely free.
Application cases where production is already taking place.
Which automakers have adopted Multi Jet Fusion technology.
How many Multi Jet Fusion parts have been produced to date in the auto segment.
Relevant and successful automotive case studies.
Latest updates on the collaboration with GKN on metal jet technology.
Key current and upcoming applications for HP metal jet technology in automotive.