While one of the greatest services 3D printing has offered to industry everywhere is the ability to make prototypes rapidly and affordably (as well as refining and re-printing at a moment’s notice), this progressive technology has gained the attention of well, just about everybody, because it means there is infinite opportunity for innovation and creation—as well as manufacturing of new, on-demand parts that may not have been possible otherwise.
The automotive industry has embraced 3D printing comprehensively, and Hyundai is no exception. This is even more apparent after Materialise chose to highlight the Seoul-headquartered car manufacturer and their recent innovations—along with their methods for managing additive manufacturing production—in a case study.
AM management was an incredibly complex process before Hyundai Motor Corporation began using Materialise Streamics, and even included some reports that were manually generated.
Now they are able to experience all the benefits of automated production management, providing access to reports on:
All of the necessary production information is kept in one main database, unifying data preparation, production, post-processing, and management. All of the team members involved in a particular production are able to monitor progress and are informed when builds are finished. With Materialise Streamics it is also easy to check on information regarding parts, order, and the machines themselves, all in real time.
Communication is much better now, along with efficiency in production—and a reduction in ‘man hours’ by 77 percent. Not only is work completed more expediently but customers are benefiting as they receive better service from Hyundai overall.
“Hyundai Motor Company didn’t only facilitate their production management, they also saw the benefits of automatic support generation. Before using Materialise e-Stage, they [had to] spend much time to generate support structures manually and had to invest more in post-processing to compensate the bad surface quality after support removal,” states the case study.
Scale model of drive system with e-Stage supports
With the automatic support generation software, supports are created only when necessary, leading to improvements and reductions in time such as:
- Savings in material (by 13 percent)
- Reduced data preparation (by 94 percent)
- Build times (by 30 percent)
Employees are no longer forced to spend time managing and updating a range of Excel spreadsheets, and the need to manage operating processes for the 3D printers is eliminated.
“Materialise’s automation software enabled us to produce prototypes and manage production more efficiently. We could reduce the manual work of logging in production data and generating support structures, leading to a remarkable reduction of time,” said On, Han Woo, Senior Research Engineer, Proto vehicle development team, Hyundai Motors. “The efficient and optimized support generation with Materialise e-Stage also led to lower material consumption, better part quality and faster support removal. This means we can spend more time on creating an added value for our customers.”
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[Source / Images: Materialise]