Global industrial 3D printer manufacturer INTAMSYS recently partnered with leading 3D printing materials supplier KEXCELLED to provide its FDM/FFF 3D printing solutions for the Automotive Division of SIKA in China.
This project marks a significant milestone in the automotive industry, and has seen notable time and cost savings of up to 90% for SIKA’s automotive prototyping and development stages.
“Compared with traditional injection molding methods, INTAMSYS 3D printing has helped us reduce time and cost by 80%-90% for the prototype development, giving a boost to rapid iterations and significant changes needed to be made with tight timelines,” commented Mr. Chen from Sika China’s Automotive Division.
INTAMSYS and the expansion of additive manufacturing
In the wave of Industry 4.0, 3D printing continues to change the manufacturing landscape. As an emerging manufacturing technology in the automotive industry, 3D printing has injected new vitality, especially in the aspects of rapid prototype trial production, functional prototype verification, tooling and jigs & fixtures. It also assists with the production and application of spare parts for customized, discontinued or small batch vehicles.
Under the trend of electrification and smart manufacturing for automobiles, along with the desire and product differential consumer upgrades allow, customers are attaching more importance to interior and exterior accessories. This has led to a growing trend of diversification, personalization, and customization to meet varied customer demands.
Possessing rich experience in the automotive industry, INTAMSYS has widely applied industrial 3D printing technology to automotive interior and exterior accessories. These include, among others, customized bumpers, steering wheel test pieces, racing car parts, and tail logo fixtures.
Compared with traditional injection molding methods, INTAMSYS FDM/FFF 3D printing has helped clients in the automotive industry reduce time and cost by 80%-90% for their prototype development, giving a boost to rapid iterations and significant changes needed to be made with tight timelines.
The collaboration with SIKA and KEXCELLED
As an automotive component supplier capable of providing a complete set of adhesive, shock absorption, sealing, and structural enhancement solutions, SIKA helps OEM clients create vehicles which are lighter, stronger, safer, quieter, and more eco-friendly.
During the manufacturing and verification process of their prototypes, the components 3D printed by INTAMSYS’ FUNMAT PRO 410 were bonded with SIKA EVA eco-friendly plastic foam materials. EVA foam materials filled the gaps between the printed components and the bodywork, forming a sturdy structure that not only ensured the required stiffness of the vehicle body, but also provided shockproof, sound insulation, and noise reduction.
During the selection of 3D printing materials, PAHT K7 from KEXCELLED stood out thanks to its characteristics of high rigidity, high performance, and ease of use.
This material possesses a fracture elongation of 21-25%, with good toughness and excellent impact strength. PAHT K7’s elastic modulus ranges from 4600 to 4800Mpa, demonstrating high rigidity and remarkable load-bearing capacity. In addition, it has low creep performance, is not prone to deformation, and maintains good accuracy. Thanks to these characteristics, parts 3D printed using KEXCELLED PAHT K7 continuously meet many of the various requirements for automotive components.
Looking past the raw print off the build tray, the sound adhesion property of the material allows it to easily form composite structures and components for specific functions with other materials. This enables many of the important attributes mentioned earlier, such as sound insulation, noise reduction, and shockproofing.
The KEXCELLED PAHT K7 filament, with its advanced properties, has extremely high requirements for the 3D printing ability of the equipment. 3D printers using PAHT K7 need to address the water absorption effect of nylon, while meeting the 3D printing temperature requirements.
As an industrial-grade dual nozzle high-temperature 3D printer, the INTAMSYS FUNMAT PRO 410 features a format printing size of 305 * 305 * 406mm, and is equipped with wire sealing and drying technology and multi-material coverage ability. The FUNMAT PRO 410 can 3D print PA engineering plastics with extremely high accuracy and quality, producing detailed and high-quality prints which accurately reproduce the design model of automotive components.
Based on the optimization and strict testing of the KEXCELLED PAHT K7 material process parameters, INTAMSYS has maximized its performance advantages, helping SIKA to quickly and repeatedly verify their design while also changing plans of the BIW cavity noise isolation and structural enhancement components. This greatly reduces the risk and cost of verifying and changing molds. Notably, the 3D printed components are directly used for prototype verification, shortening both the time for component design modification and the entire vehicle development cycle.
INTAMSYS’ growing additive manufacturing offerings
Different applications in the automotive industry have also put forward high requirements for materials. INTAMSYS provides industrial 3D printing solutions covering different materials, including many with high-performance attributes used to build fixed devices, gaskets, busbars and other components in racing cars. INTAMSYS technology is also optimized for composite materials used for turbofan engine components, and engineering materials used for air conditioning filter cover plates and steering wheel trial parts.
INTAMSYS collaborates closely with customers in the automotive industry chain such as Porsche, Tesla, BMW and Toyota. The company’s key goal is to empower the development of electrification and smart manufacturing in the automotive industry.
INTAMSYS, as a global leading high-tech company providing FDM/FFF 3D printing solutions with high-performance materials and industrial direct additive manufacturing solutions, has always dedicated itself to promoting additive manufacturing as an innovative method for industrial creation. In the future, INTAMSYS is set to pursue more in-depth partnerships with leading enterprises to jointly explore the potential of industrial 3D printing in a wider range of applications.
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Featured image shows a 3D printed SIKA body in white. Photo via INTAMSYS.