Automotive Additive Manufacturingformnext

Techniplas showcases concept vehicle made with AM, generative design

The partially 3D printed vehicle is on display at Formnext 2018

At Formnext 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany, mobility specialist Techniplas is demonstrating a concept vehicle designed to showcase the company’s generative product design and additive manufacturing capabilities and services.

According to the company, the unusual vehicle serves as a physical representation of how it is integrating the latest design for additive manufacturing capabilities in a way that delivers significant lightweighting and intelligent connectivity to the world of cars.

“We are very pleased to bring to Formnext a concept vehicle that is packed with our most advanced smart solutions and lightweighting capabilities,” commented George Votis, Founder and Executive Chairman at Techniplas. “Over the past 18 months, we brought on board key generative design and additive manufacturing capabilities and cemented innovation partnerships that are designed to future-proof our business and enhance our contribution to the future of mobility.”

The Techniplas “Prime” e-manufacturing platform was used to bring the concept vehicle to fruition. Unveiled at CES 2018, the Prime platform combines Techniplas’ own resources — core expertise and manufacturing facilities — with those of qualified manufacturing partners, including Nexa3D, NXT Factory and ParaMatters.

Techniplas concept vehicle

According to Techniplas, Prime is the industry’s first e-manufacturing platform to provide online lightweighting solutions, additive manufacturing options with instant pricing quotations and localized serial manufacturing for the auto industry.

The vehicle itself is a sight to behold. Developed by Techniplas Digital (a California-based digital transformation unit), the vehicle boast several advanced features. For example: a trailing suspension arm has been built with a 48 percent weight reduction; the car showcases several futuristic tire rim designs; and a seat back demonstrates how effective design for additive manufacturing can reduce assembly time, part count, material usage and overall cost.

The vehicle also has a programmable, “cognitively lit” sunroof. This feature demonstrates how car surfaces are transitioning from core functionality into expanded human-to-machine interfaces.

Techniplas is currently showcasing the concept vehicle at Formnext 2018. As part of the demonstration, it is joined by XponentialWorks and its Open Innovation Program partners, including Nexa3D, NXT Factory and ParaMatters.

Through the concept vehicle, the company says it is demonstrating “the combined power of generative and additive manufacturing technologies for scalable manufacturing of tomorrow’s mobility solutions.”

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Benedict O'Neill

Benedict is a freelance writer with several years of experience in the additive manufacturing industry, having served as co-editor of a leading 3D printing news website. He also produces content for sports and culture platforms and holds a master’s degree in English literature.

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