Volkswagen Autoeuropa: 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures – Ultimaker: 3D Printing Story

Volkswagen Autoeuropa: 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures – Ultimaker: 3D Printing Story

We started this project in 2014 The issue was to produce gauges, fixtures, and jigs
for the assembly line Since 2014, we have savings of €150,000 My name is Luis Pascoa I’m responsible for the Pilot Plant
in Volkswagen Autoeuropa, Portugal This department is responsible for engineering changes
in the cars as well as launching new models We’re producing 100,000 cars a year
and we have 4000 employees If you compare the conventional situation when we need
a new tool, jig, or gauge with 3D printers we save around 90% of the costs
and 90% of the delivery time of the project We started off with 1 printer.
Currently, we have 7 printers Our prospect is to save €250,000 every year Regarding the Return On Investment (ROI) In 2 months, we paid back the ROI It’s a low-cost solution
with very fast Return On Investment Last year, we produced 1,000 different parts The benefits are improved ergonomics, productivity,
and operator satisfaction In the end, we get very good feedback
from the operators working on the line My name is Miguel, and I work in Process Assembly
in Volkswagen Autoeuropa The trigger for us to start with 3D printing
was this type of gauges We were not able to produce them internally,
so we had to go to external suppliers This was a significant weight on our budget Now, our gauges are much simpler and have adjustment capacities that were not present
on the model we got from external suppliers When you’re using one of these gauges
and one element is damaged Priorly, we had to scrap the entire part Currently, we replace only the damaged parts In terms of cost efficiency this is a huge benefit for our department From idea to prototype now takes 1 to 1.5 hours for a simple project Priorly, with external suppliers, this took us 2 to 3 weeks Having an open filament system is very beneficial for
our team that develops different solutions and different applications for the automotive industry We need this flexibility in our equipment, and this is
provided by Ultimaker also in the tests that we are performing
with Filkemp material Reliability is a key factor in 3D printing Ultimaker is a reliable machine
that we’ve been using until now We’re using a product that is low-cost
and with high-standard and quality results If you consider the entire automotive industry,
the potential is huge

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Hello! Can you share this use cases ? We have one Ultimaker 2 Extended+ and we tried to print with Nylon and CPE+ and we currently deal with some bend of the parts. We are very interested about the experiences from this project.

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