VW Readying 3D-Printing For Mass Production

Volkswagen is gearing up to use 3D printing at a mass scale previously unexplored by any other automaker.

While we’ve seen prototypes of 3D printed cars and some vehicles currently on the market incorporate small parts made by a 3D printer, VW is pressing ahead with the development of the technology for mass production.

Helping the car manufacturer to radically develop 3D printing in the automotive space is the new metal jet 3D printer from HP. This new printer specializes in making parts from metal and promises to be up to 50 times more productive than printers to come before it. Consequently, Volkswagen can use the printer to produce a large number of parts without having to develop and manufacture the corresponding tools that it would using more traditional methods.

We are living in the future.

Volkswagen is collaborating with HP and GKN to introduce 3D printed parts to its production vehicles as soon as possible. Initially, small parts including tailgate lettering, special gear knobs, and special keys with personalized lettering will be manufactured for customers. As development of the technology increases, Volkswagen hopes to begin 3D printing the first structural components for mass-production vehicles within two to three years.

“A complete vehicle will probably not be manufactured by a 3D printer any time soon, but the number and size of parts from the 3D printer will increase significantly,” head of technology planning and development at Volkswagen, Dr. Martin Goede said.

“Our goal is to integrate printed structural parts into the next generation of vehicles as quickly as possible. In the long term, we expect a continuous increase in unit numbers, part sizes and technical requirements – right up to soccer-size parts of over 100,000 units per year.”

HP’s new 3D printer produces parts layer by layer using a powder and binder. The resulting part is then baked into a metallic component.

more photos...
  • sidewaysspin

    Many manufacturers already use them.

  • SteersUright

    Cool? I think?

  • Vassilis

    Very, very cool!

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Convoy Braves The Elements During California Testing

Bad weather didn’t stop the mid-engine Corvettes from testing alongside a C7 Vette and Porsche 911.

Audi Opens Order Books For Twin-Turbo 444HP RS5 Sportback In Europe

Five-door coupe version of the Audi RS5 will arrive in dealers in mid-2019.

Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo Adds A Dash Of Practicality And Style

All-electric Porsches are coming and the Taycan Sport Turismo might be the best-looking of the bunch.

Production 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback Looks Less Futuristic Than Concept

The Sportback is expected to use the same all-electric 402 HP powertrain as the regular e-tron.

Dove Grey McLaren 600LT Spider By MSO Coming To Geneva

McLaren will bring this one-off 600LT Spider to this year’s Geneva Motor Show in March.

Discover How Active Aerodynamics Define The New Porsche 911

The new Porsche 911 is packed with innovative technologies, including a Wet Mode.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Enters Production, European Sales Start In May

The second-gen CLA sits on a new platform and is both sportier and roomier than its predecessor.

TechArt’s New GTstreet RS Is A 759HP Monster That Does 0-62 In 2.5 Sec

TechArt boosts the Porsche 911 Turbo S with an extra 187hp together with a lot of forged carbon .

2020 Volvo XC90 Facelift Breaks Cover With KERS System, New Software

The Volvo XC90 is now available with an advanced kinetic energy recovery braking system.

Aston Martin Says 003 Hypercar Will Compete With LaFerrari And Senna

CEO Andy Palmer said the upcoming supercar will slot between their 488 rival and the Valkyrie.