Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) wanted to launch the "LQ", a concept vehicle that leverages advanced technology to build an emotional bond between car and driver, at the Tokyo Motor Show. A new approach was required for the interior and exterior design. The center console was designed as an innovative free-standing object with a knob style shift lever and a touchpad which represented a major challenge. Additive design and manufacturing technology offered the best solution in terms of weight, design freedom, and reliability.
Prototypes for design studies or functional tests are still a very important element of the product development process. Especially for FMCG or lifestyle products, a fast and reliable design validation is very important to reduce the time to market. Therefore, industrial designers and engineers are searching more and more intensely for new ways to validate their designs even quicker. But especially multi-colored and multi-material components are really challenging to be manufactured as a prototype. A new solution for the fast, realistic, and cost-effective manufacturing of design prototypes is necessary.
For the commercial release of its new face cream of the „it“ product line (i.e. Innovative Technology), L'Oréal was looking for a very special way of presenting it at a press conference to attract attention and symbolize the innovative image of the "it" brand. The challenge: Time was relatively short to the inaugural press conference and no data model of the small original tube existed. Our specialists created a data model of the tube from scratch. After that, the object was built by using XXL 3D printing technology GDP (Gel Dispensing Printing) in three separate parts, which were assembled to form an impressively tall giant tube with a height of 1.80 m. Due to a refined finishing process, the GDP model was a perfect look-alike of the original – after only one week of production time.
The range of the UAV and the battery-powered flight duration are essential performance characteristics of remote-controlled aircraft. In order to massively increase the flight duration, our design specialists at FITNIK have developed the prototype of a special helicopter drone with an original length of 3.5 meters. The special feature of the drone's construction is its complex organic design which leads to a weight reduction of 80%. The structural load-bearing capacity is guaranteed. This means that the drone can fly almost twice as long as before.
The eye-catching new boarding house on the AM campus of FIT Additive Manufacturing Group is the result of a close collaboration between the FIT product designers, architects Berschneider + Berschneider, and the Sto Group, a manufacturer and developer of lightweight construction systems. The facade stands out by a novel surface with a complex pattern of cavities which let the massive geometry of the matte dark appear delicate and weightless. Each of the mold inserts of the production panels was produced from aluminium by laser melting, which was considerably cheaper than milling them due to the complex faceted shape. The individual facade panels were pressed and demolded quickly and economically, fully integrated into the industrial process at STO. Thanks to the additive production, individualized house facades will hardly cost more than standard facades in a few years.
For the mounting of air conditioning units, Faiveley Transport Leipzig GmbH & Co. KG, a subsidiary of the US-American Wabtec Corporation, uses conventionally manufactured clamps made of sheet metal. Availability as well as weight are becoming more and more important issues. That's why Wabtec searched for a weight-optimized variant of the 4.6 kg standard bracket. Topology-optimization and bionic design are the corner stones for the complete redesign of the original bracket. As the subsequent simulation showed, the new bracket is able to withstand the same loads as the conventional part. The main difference: the new bracket has only a weight of 0.8 kg, which means a weight reduction of 82 %! Since the new bracket is manufactured in one piece by additive manufacturing instead of being joined from 6 bent sheet metal parts, the assembly effort could also be noticeably reduced.
Around 3.7 m people alone in Germany suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Oventus Medical, in cooperation with the Australian CSIRO, developed an individual mouthpiece that protects sleep apnea patients from fatal breathing pauses. As a specialist for the additive manufacturing of medical components, we provide reliable and certified processes for the production of titanium blanks for the medical products and devices industry. This enabled us to lead Oventus through an intensive prototyping and evaluation process, preparing true serial manufacturing. In the course of this cooperation, we developed the process for real series manufacturing of the titanium mouthpiece. The parts are manufactured with professional software tools and best-in-class machines for the high-quality production of medical implants according to DIN EN ISO 13485 as well as compliant with FDA requirements. A rigorous quality management system ensures the required quality standards (e.g. traceability etc.).