Audi develops in-house 3D software to expand its 3D printing capabilities

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Next-generation cars like concept and luxury cars depend heavily on 3D printing for easily making many parts that go into the car. German automobile manufacturer Audi AG anticipation of extensively using 3D technology in many of its future cars has driven the company to develop its own in-house 3D software.

Audi has teamed up with trinckle, a 3D Printing Solutions and Printing Service based in Berlin, to develop innovative design software and expand Audi’s 3D printing capabilities.

The software will allow any Audi employee without extensive prior knowledge in 3D design and printing to design and print objects personally without needing much assistance.

The software phases out the process and extensive time needed to manually sculpt and design 3D models in computer-aided design software by as much as 80 percent.

“Our software makes the process of creating pre-assembly fixtures almost completely automated. That allows us to make the necessary tools quickly and flexibly and to respond to specific requests from the planners or our colleagues on the assembly line,” explains Waldemar Hirsch, project manager and head of the team of experts in 3D printing at the Ramp-Up and Analysis Center at Audi Böllinger Höfe.

The software is calibrated precisely to Audi’s needs and is also part of the process of digitalizing production at the site.

The Audi e-tron GT is one of Audi’s most anticipated fully electric cars and the first Audi vehicle to extensively use additive manufacturing or 3D printing for manufacturing and assembly. The car is set to be shipped in late 2020 together with the Audi R8.

“Collaborative design from an early stage enables optimizations to be made earlier in the process as well. This means that all the necessary tools will already be available and calibrated to the exact requirements when production of the e-tron GT begins,” says Hirsch.

Audi is optimistic about the development and use of this software saying it represent yet further major strides in the digital transformation of the company and demonstrate the active changes taking place across all kinds of production facilities as they move toward smart factory status.

Other automotive companies are making use of 3D printing to enhance the quality and safety of their cars. Ford recently developed 3D printing strategies to combat car wheel theft.

Czinger 21C is also a hybrid hypercar from the US that extensively makes use of 3D printing in its production

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