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German multinational automotive company BMW has used the x500 system from FFF 3D printer manufacturer German RepRap to help save time and implement more flexibility in its production processes.
BMW has been using 3D printing from German RepRap for several years, and uses the x500 3D printer for prototyping, helping the vehicle manufacturer to meet deadlines, achieve quality goals and cut costs. German RepRap stressed the importance of additive manufacturing for the automotive industry as a whole, stating:
ENORMOUS - SAVINGS - POTENTIAL - OFTEN - STILL
“ENORMOUS SAVINGS POTENTIAL OFTEN STILL LURKS IN THE PRODUCTION PROCESSES OF THE COMPANIES. THE USE OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING CAN SAVE RESOURCES SUCH AS TIME AND MONEY AS WELL AS OPTIMIZE PROCESSES.”
The German RepRap x500 3D printing system. Photo via German RepRap.
BMW - RepRap - X500 - Prototypes - Processes
BMW has used the German RepRap x500 to produce prototypes specifically within its pre-development processes. This could include the 3D printing of fixtures, car part prototypes, production and assembly aids, which German RepRap states have become standard uses of 3D printing in the automotive industry. The x500 is aimed at the automotive sector, as well as the aerospace, and health-care verticals. The 3D printer features a build volume of 500 x 400 x 450 mm (XYZ), and an auto-bed leveling function.
Using 3D printing for prototyping, manufacturers in the automotive industry, like BMW, can achieve quicker series maturity by implementing different ideas for its end products at a faster rate. It also offers the advantage of design freedom, allowing engineers to experiment with their prototypes in ways that would otherwise be impossible to manufacture using traditional production methods. German RepRap adds “In the automotive industry, additive manufacturing has become a high priority, and further development and production is no longer conceivable without...
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