Developing Supercars With 3D Printing
Give it to Koenigsegg to know how to develop a fancy sports car. Manufacturing and assembly of these components are very labour intensive and include more than 300 carbon fiber parts. In order to design efficiently, parts need to be tested virtually with prototypes that are as real as possible. By testing throughout the development cycle, Koenigsegg’s designers can determine which designs yield the best possible results. The team of six starts the development process by designing each individual part on its CAD system. They then ‘print’ a high density plastic model of each component to carry out various testing scenarios. If changes to the part are required, they can be made manually and then scanned from the altered model component. This scan is then used to make a new CAD model, which can be printed again for further testing.
Outsourcing these jobs slowed down development and as they were both expensive and disruptive to its development cycle. Koenigsegg realized they needed a 3D printer in order to speed up their prototyping and to design quickly and efficiently. The company decided to invest in a Dimension 3D Printer from Stratasys and the results were nothing less than game-changing. “Dimension was an obvious choice for us as it not only allows us to modify and print prototypes quickly but also provides us with the option to use them as end-use parts in our cars,” said Christian von Koenigsegg, founder and CEO at Koenigsegg Automotive AB. “Once the Dimension printer was up and running, our engineers started using the machine straight away. The benefits were clear immediately. The process of printing prototypes onsite and testing each component has sped up the development of the car design by an estimated 20%.”
“Simply put, our Dimension 3D Printer saves time, money and allows us to work more freely.” -Christian von Koenigsegg, CEO, Koenigsegg
Today, the printer is being used in-house for design prototyping, where parts produced can also be used in working parts in the end product. These range from engine parts, interior fixtures, tooling, and components. The Dimension 3D Printer has aided in the design of Koenigsegg’s latest model, the Agera. Every engineer now has access to the printer, which has not only sped up the design process and allowed the team to be more creative and push the boundaries of supercar development.