Daihatsu Effect Skins project tests mass-customisation project for automotive parts.
Additive manufacturing is already being used throughout the automotive industry from prototyping concepts at Ford to cutting production costs or building the chassis for the ultimate supercar. For car enthusiasts, the dream of being able to design and 3D print your own custom parts for your own car, might be one step closer to becoming a reality with the launch of a new mass customisation project.
Stratasys has announced that Japanese automotive company Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd, (Daihatsu) is teaming with top local designers to test a mass customisation project for end-use car parts with its 3D printing technology.
Based in Ikeda, Osaka, Japan, Daihatsu is collaborating with Kota Nezu from industrial design company Znug Design, Inc. and 3D creator Junjie Sun to turn the vision into reality with Stratasys Fortus Production 3D printers.
Designers have created 15 “Effect Skins” – intricate geometric and organic patterns in 10 different colours that are 3D printed using Stratasys Fortus 3D printers. Customers can adjust the parameters of the designs themselves, exponentially increasing the numbers of options and allowing “one-off” customisation for each consumer. The Effect Skins are 3D printed using ASA thermoplastic, which is very durable, UV resistant and aesthetic.
“What would have taken two to three months to develop can now be produced in two weeks,” says Mr. Osamu Fujishita, General Manager, Product Planning, Daihatsu.
The Effect Skins project illustrates the power of 3D printing when it comes to creating on-demand product parts with high customisability and rich design properties.
“This project would not have been possible with traditional manufacturing or tooling methods,” explains Mr. Kota Nezu, Znug Design.
“We believe on-demand production [with 3D printing] offers definite benefits to supply chain efficiencies,” adds Osamu Fujishita. “And it allows easy access for customers.”
The Effect Skin project is being tested in 2016 in select markets with plans for commercialization in early 2017.