Production Workflow with 3D Printed Production Parts
Famed Italian automaker Lamborghini produces some of the world’s most sought-after sports cars as they pride themselves on a 50-year heritage of the Lamborghini brand becoming synonymous with extreme and uncompromising car design. Their expansive library of extraordinary cards include the 350G GT, Miura, Espada, Countach, Diablo, Murcielago, Gallardo, Aventador and more.
“Today we have overall greater control of projects and have optimized lead times and reduced costs in the process”- Fabio Serrazenetti, Lamborghini
Track-Ready Motor Racing Parts
To successfully meet the manufacturing demands of the industry, Lamborghini utilizes 3D printing throughout the entire lifecycle of its parts, from rapid prototyping applications to production parts. Today the company relies upon emerging and pioneering technologies to uphold its reputation in the automotive space.
Lamborghini’s technical department first explored FDM technology and the Fortus 3D Printing systems in an effort to meet the demand for high-strength production parts that were durable enough to withstand high-speed racing, as well as the need to create complex geometries in a tight timeframe.
Fabio Serrazanetti explains, “we use Stratasys technology to produce FDM-printed production parts because, quite simply, it meets all the requirements demanded of it”. He also adds that 3D printing has enabled them to create high-performance aesthetic parts such as profiles and air conducts. In-house operations began in 2007 and the automaker hasn’t looked back since.
As Serrazanetti explains, the in-house FDM printing systems quickly delivered a raft of important and tangible benefits: “Outsourcing our rapid prototyping operations proved both a lengthy and costly exercise,” he says. “Today we have overall greater control of projects and have optimized lead times and reduced costs in the process.”
Wide-Ranging Material Usage
Serrazanetti and the Lamborghini team uses 3D printing technology primarily to produce scale models and advanced functional prototype parts for design verification and fit and form suitability. These include a range of different exterior parts – from section bumpers, grills, aesthetic frames and those in the engine bay – to various interior parts that span door panels, seat covers and steering wheels, along with aerodynamic components such as conveyors and air heaters. FDM eliminates tooling, which keeps costs down and allows rapid iteration of new designs without manufacturing constraints.
Lamborghini uses ULTEM 9085 resin for the grill due to the high-temperature resistance properties it has against the engine. They also use PC-ABS as it is perfectly suited to produce certain interior parts utilizing the material’s exception feature definition and surface finish. With the ability to dramatically improve cost and production efficiencies within Lamborghini’s rapid prototyping operations, Serrazanetti says that 3D printing makes his and his team’s life easier.