INGOLSTADT, Germany—German automotive giant Audi A.G. has adopted full color Stratasys 3D printers, which it will use to prototype taillight covers.
In a June 7 news release, 3D printing solutions supplier Stratasys said that the Audi Pre-Series Center, which includes a plastics 3D printing center in Ingolstadt, will use the multimaterial Stratasys J750 in its design process, to accelerate design verification.
The center oversees physical models and prototypes for any brand before a new vehicle goes into production, to evaluate new designs and concepts thoroughly.
The use of 3D printers has helped increase speed by removing traditional methods of prototyping, such as molding and milling, to create and replicate new designs. In the case of taillights, Stratasys said, the team traditionally used milling or molding to produce individual parts.
The main challenge with those production techniques is the multi-colored light housing covers. Currently, individual colored parts must be assembled, as they cannot be produced in one piece, making it a time-intensive process.
Stratasys, however, claims that the J750 will enable production of "entirely transparent, multi-colored tail light covers in a single print, eliminating the need for its previous multi-step process."
Audi expects to reduce prototyping lead times for the parts by up to 50 percent.