The special product requirements
"Nothing is impossible." This Toyota motto, more than any other, stands for the permanent drive for progress with which the Japanese automaker develops vehicles for a better future. This is especially true of the futuristically designed LQ concept car. It drives autonomously, 100% electrically and is on Japan's roads with an artificial intelligence called Yui.
LQ development manager Daisuke Ido says: "In the past, our love for cars was built on their ability to take us to distant places and enable our adventures. Advanced technology gives us the power to match customer lifestyles with new opportunities for excitement and engagement. With the LQ, we wanted to propose a vehicle that can deliver a personalized experience, meet each driver's unique mobility needs, and build an even stronger bond between car and driver."
So it's not much of a surprise that Toyota chose to use state-of-the-art manufacturing methods and processes to produce individual vehicle components in the LQ. In designing and manufacturing the center console, engineers had complete confidence in the capabilities of additive manufacturing and the company's long-standing partnership with FIT. In this project, the focus was on exceptional design, maximum safety, top quality and lightweight construction.
In close collaboration with the design team in Japan, the entire geometry of the console box was designed by FIT as part of an ADM-E project so that the console floats almost freely in the interior between the front seats, perfectly supporting the elegant impression of the entire interior. The console owes its light weight to the hollow internal structure and its stability to a network of internal struts that provide an extremely robust structure. As a result, the console withstood Toyota's strict design guidelines as well as the necessary crash tests.
With a particular focus on safety, vehicle components in the interior are subject to strict specifications, especially with regard to flame retardancy. To meet these requirements, various material tests were carried out in our production facilities as part of a separate development project (ADM-D). The suitability of the flame-retardant plastic PA 2241 FR as the best material for the console box was thus successfully demonstrated.
Final design approval and material qualification were followed by additive volume manufacturing (ADM-V). A total of 20 console boxes were then produced using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS or PBF-LB/P).
Are you interested in the technical details of the production process? Then we recommend our detailed process use case at this point.
Toyota has been benefiting from the advantages of additive manufacturing in both metallic applications and plastic components for many years by its collaboration with FIT. By a re-engineering the design and by additive manufacturing of the console box, the following goals were achieved for Toyota's LQ:
Toyota made a deliberate decision to use FIT's comprehensive range of services for this project, which took a total of 6 months, because receiving design development, material qualification and additive series manufacturing from a single source significantly reduced the complexity in the project and the project duration. Toyota was delighted with both the smooth cooperation and the result.
You too can benefit from our full range of services for the development and production of innovative vehicle components. Together we create progress, because Toyota's motto is also valid for additive manufacturing : "Nothing is impossible!"
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