Volkswagen purchased two Stratasys J850 printers to enhance its prototyping capabilities and to build new automotive design capabilities into its creative process. The J850 is a powerful tool for car manufacturers because it can accomplish multi-material manufacturing tasks in color. The Volkswagen Pre-Series-Center is 3D printing a wide range of ultra-realistic prototypes for both interior and exterior applications, which helps the company drive further innovation in new vehicle design.
The J850 provides Volkswagen the unique ability to produce full-color prototypes in up to seven different materials varying in rigidity, flexibility, opaqueness, and transparency, and all this in a single print. This saves significant time and costs over traditional multi-step design processes such as part assembly and painting.
Volkswagen puts over 25 years of 3D printing experience to work innovating design and production of vehicles for its customers. According to the company, this latest investment allows the design team to meet Volkswagen’s stringent quality requirements, with the capability to now create complex multi-material prototypes that mirror final production parts with up to 99% precision. This level of realism will enable the team to better test and improve overall part designs.
For vehicle interiors, the Volkswagen Pre-Series-Center team is also 3D printing parts with different textured surfaces from fabric and leather to wood. Furthermore, the use of an advanced transparent material called VeroUltraClear allows the team to replicate the clarity of glass. The ability to simulate these vehicle features with true-to-life models gives designers the creative freedom to test and perfect new designs quickly and cost-effectively.
Mr. Peter Bartels, head of the Volkswagen Pre-Series-Center, comments: “Volkswagen has always put innovation at the heart of everything it does, in order to develop vehicles that excite our customers and make them proud to own. To achieve this, it is essential we provide our design teams with the latest cutting-edge technologies to unleash their creativity and enable them to set the standard in automotive design. The recent addition of the J850 3D Printers offers us additional capabilities that strengthen our 3D printing operations and allow us to further optimize our design process.”
Andreas Langfeld, President EMEA, Stratasys, adds: “Volkswagen has been a longstanding customer who has always embraced the value of PolyJet 3D printing and pushed the boundaries of the technology to innovate the design process. The J850 is our most advanced system yet, offering companies the means to take their design capabilities to the next level and gain a competitive edge. We are very excited to see what creative applications the Volkswagen team can develop with this technology.”