3D Printing for Automotive Applications

3D Printing for Automotive Applications


hi my name is Cody Cassell I work for a company called 3d excite 3d visualization and data prepping for Honda and Acura vehicles on the side I have my own aftermarket car business Casal Design LLC where I do a lot of design and prototyping of aftermarket parts I do work on SEMA vehicles and I sell products to customers I’ve been working in 3d modeling for about 3d surface modeling for about five years maybe SolidWorks modeling for about ten I’ve been working in 3d printing for about three years the 3d printing process has been a great experience has it has opened up a lot of opportunities whereas 10 years ago they even the idea of having a rapid prototype part was something that was so expensive that I never even thought to even go through the digital process of design and development and now I can do it over a weekend without even what even thinking that it was gonna be too expensive for my budget this is a 3d printed duckbill spoiler prototype for a Honda Civic five-door hatchback this piece was originally designed in 3d in alias modeled over a 3d scan and then that alias model was then given to make it where they 3d printed the spoiler for me in full scale so this prototype is not the finished product that a customer would receive but it is the prototype Master model that is purely going to be used to do the tooling to make the negative molds that then make the products that will be sold to customers I had a customer come over and they were able to allow me to test fit this prototype on their vehicle which gave me the ability to make sure that it fit properly against the trunk and rear taillight and then from there I then started refining some of these surfaces sanding the 3d printed plastic with about 60 grit to get it close to the finished surface and then I then applied body filler over the bottom back and surfaces to start to refine them to have a master model and then once this piece is fully refined I can then start flange it to make the tooling mold for the product so this is a another prototype that has been in the works for a customer of mine it has a front bumper under roof spoiler I originally made this all analogue out of cardboard all by hand tracing the original shape all flat in 2d and then I started to add supports there’s some fiberglass pieces here to make sure that the mounting is is perfect but it’s all done analog by hand body fillers applied I have to check symmetry it’s probably taken me over 30 hours to get to this stage so this is another example of analog process that I’ve been working on this is a trunk lid spoiler really rough prototype for a Mazda Miata the process for this one was I had to make a fiberglass under surface that was bonded against the trunk lid of the vehicle and then once I had this surface I then trimmed out the shape for where I wanted the trunk lid spoiler to be in relation to the rest of the car and then from there I then went ahead and started applying the clay trying to figure out thicknesses the height of the spoiler the angle I’ve kind of almost given up on this process because I just feel like it takes so much time you need to have the right kind of space to work on this kind of piece you know for clay you have to have a temperature controlled room and being in a garage like this and it gets hot in the summertime the clay gets really soft and you know you put it down and it gets damaged really easily I’d like I like working with clay but it’s such a process that you it’s a very delicate whereas with this printed piece you know it’s taken me a fraction of the time and I already have a finished prototype almost and this thing is I’m pretty much I don’t even know if I’m going to continue going through this process for this Miata spoiler so all of those different steps that I mentioned with the analog part I was able to skip and I’m already past that phase with a 3d printed piece and I can I can just go ahead and I can do a quick refinement of the outer surfaces and it’s already ready for two one this is another project that I have been working on these are 3d printed headlight housings that I designed in alias originally I wanted to show this this project because I thought it was very relevant in regards to the capabilities of 3d printing it doesn’t stop you from thinking in a natural way you know you’re able to design in 3d and print parts in 3d where you can put them together however if you get to a point where you weren’t happy with a certain point of the process for example this mounting flange I wasn’t happy with it instead of 3d printing the whole part again I decided to go and print just portions of the part and I was able to analog bond them together even in the back here I’m thinking you know analog and hands-on trimming portions away trying to figure out fitment mounting solutions so I just really enjoy the fact that I can pick and choose where I want to use 3d printing where I want to get hands on with the prototype and it kind of is like a natural design process that doesn’t stop you from how you have designed in the past


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