AIC Offers Advanced Additive Manufacturing to Automotive Aftermarket

March 18, 2020

Additive manufacturing is an exciting and important feature of Australia’s newly opened Auto Innovation Centre (AIC).  The AIC is a ground-breaking facility, which offers cutting edge services and equipment to significantly enhance aftermarket product development. Additive manufacturing is a crucial component of the centre’s capability.

The benefits of additive manufacturing are now well known. They enable designers to test product fitment, identify issues or potential design problems and to study, improve and optimise. 3D printers can produce incredibly intricate and difficult designs that are not simply or cheaply replicated with traditional tooling and production techniques.

The AIC’s new Additive Manufacturing Centre houses three different printers. These provide a variety of options for automotive product developers to suit their particular requirements.

For companies that are prototyping or even wanting to produce small production runs, the HP Jet Fusion 580 Colour is capable of creating strong, useable parts and has the ability to print in colour.  An example of a part that has been created in this 3D printer is a brake duct. Intricate and with such a thin wall, a product like this is well suited to additive manufacturing.

For smaller part prototyping or short production runs, quality creations with a high level of surface detail, AIC has purchased a 3D Systems Figure 4. The Figure 4 uses Stereolithography (SLA) to create parts that may ordinarily be injection moulded. A variety of resins are available to produce parts with varying flexibility, from rubberised to nylon.

The Stratasys F370 is an FDM machine with a large build bed. It is capable of producing larger sized creations quickly and is another strong option for prototyping. The typical uses for this machine are large packaging studies where the bulk volume accuracy is more important than the detailed surface finish.

“Additive manufacturing is an integral part of our new product development. It is critical for us being able to get to market sooner with a product that has been tested and validated before full production occurs. The result is savings in time and costs throughout our production process,” said Heath Moore, General Manager of Harrop Engineering.

The AIC Additive manufacturing facilities are made even more powerful by the in-house fleet of popular new production vehicles and a fully equipped workshop. Companies will be able to obtain 3D scan information and measurements to assist CAD creation. Post printing, companies will be able to test fit products to the AIC fleet vehicles.

“Our purpose is to assist business to bring products to market. Additive Manufacturing is one important service offering that provides new opportunities to aftermarket companies across Australia,” said Luke Truskinger, AIC Managing Director.

To book or enquire about AIC Additive Manufacturing capabilities please contact Luke Truskinger – luke@autoic.com.au

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