3D Printing, 3D Scanning, Stratasys, Automotive

Application Spotlight: BMW

By Emily Wolfe on October 6, 2017

Additive technologies are revolutionizing the way the automotive industry is designing and developing vehicles. In this blog, we explore how BMW is using 3D scanning and 3D printing to get ahead of their competition.

How BMW is Using 3D Scanning:

3D scanning is giving BMW a competitive advantage against other car companies in the automotive industry by allowing them to scan specific parts of a vehicle and complete customization. They use scanners such as the Artec Space Spider because of their capability to render complex geometry or objects that have intricate details. For example, the Space Spider allows BMW to replicate just the wheels, then apply measurements to get the exact distance between them. It uses blue light technology to successfully capture in high resolution, perfect for the design goals BMW is trying to accomplish. In addition, instead of having to scan the entire car, their engineering team can scan specific parts saving time. BMW is then able to combine their raw scans into a 3D model directly after scanning. 

In the video below, watch how BMW uses the Artec Space Spider to capture different areas of a car.

 

How BMW is using 3D Printing:

Stratasys FDM technology continues to be an important part of BMW's workflow. They are expanding their FMD applications into other areas beyond the vehicle design prototyping. After determining that the FDM process can be an alternative to the conventional metal-cutting manufacturing method, BMW has been able to take advantage of reducing costs in areas such as engineering documentation, warehousing and manufacturing.

“FDM is taking on increasing importance as an alternative manufacturing method for components made in small numbers” -Günter Schmid, BMW Engineer

Using the Stratasys Fortus machine, BMW is able to manufacture assembly tools much more efficiently. There are a handful of benefits that come with expanding FDM application into areas like direct digital manufacturing. Some of these advantages include faster production, ease-of-use, repeatibility and functionality. The additive process can easily produce organic shapes that sweep and flow allowing tool designers to maximize performance while improving handling characteristics.

For the full details on how BMW is expanding FDM technologies into areas such as direct digital manufacturing, download the case study by clicking the link below: 

Download Full Case Study