3D Printing

3D printing industry nailing it again Ford and Nissan are using HP 3D printing

When thinking about Hewlett-Packard (HP) people often associate the brand with what they are well-known: their front office IT technologies and wide-format printing. Now they are developing high-volume 3D-printed parts for Ford’s Super Duty F-250 trucks and also replacement parts for Nissan older models.

Courtesy of Ford.

HP has been part of many advanced manufacturing applications for a while so it was a matter of time to enter the automotive industry. With projects like Foxconn’s use of HPE Pointnext services to address quality assurance issues, they developed HP Metal Jet printer for mass manufacturing of production-grade metal parts. Now both Ford and Nissan announced their new sustainability programs by HP 3D printing technology.

Re- using 3D printed powders and parts for injection-molded fuel-line clips for its trucks has opened an entire door of opportunities for other fuel-line clips on other vehicles where these parts and processes can be used.

Courtesy of Ford.

“Many companies are finding great uses for 3D printing technologies, but, together with HP, we’re the first to find a high-value application for waste powder that likely would have gone to a landfill by transforming it into functional and durable auto parts.” According to Debbie Mielewski, Ford technical fellow.

According to Ford, “recycled materials from HP’s 3D have better chemical and moisture resistance than conventional fuel-line clips, are 7%lighter and cost 10% less.”

Courtesy of Ford.

Nissan applications

Hp 3D printing technology is being used to design and manufacture 3D-printed replacement parts for Nissan’s NISMO (the motorsports and performance division of the Nissan Motor Company). To produce all of these parts, HP is using its Multi Jeti Fusion platform. The first part is a plastic part of the harness protector for the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R which was first produced from 1969-1973, then from 1989-2002. The part is now being produced by HP using High Reusability PA 11 which provides high mechanical properties and design flexibility.

Automotive industry is being changed by implementing these projects to the table due to its full potential of creating replacement parts for extended periods. Also, producing and storing parts for vehicles that have been discontinued, updated, or overhauled can benefit from this, as manufacturers don’t often retain molds for these parts for storage and logistics terms, so re-creating them tends to be expensive or even impossible for some.

Courtesy of Ford.

“We are seeing leaders of the industry like Nissan recognize the massive cost implications of storage, molds, and logistics for replacement parts and how industrial 3D printing can help,” said Jon Wayne, head of global commercial business for 3D printing and digital manufacturing at HP Inc. “Digital manufacturing is a viable, long-term solution for accelerating production and transforming supply chains.”

It is definitely intriguing how the 3D industry has been taken to many other industries and how there are more and more applications to solve many different needs out there, even for high-volume pieces which was a little bit doubtful at first. We hope to see even more applications in the future.

Courtesy of Ford.

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