Feb 16, 2017 | By Tess

As a kid, I was always very jealous of my cousin who drove a kid-sized jeep and my friends who had the iconic Fisher-Price plastic cars. Considering that, I can’t even imagine how green I would have been had I set my eyes on one of these 3D printed luxury vehicles for toddlers. Made by German kids auto manufacturer Bobby Tailor, these custom-made toy cars are really a sight to behold.

Probably nicer than any full-size car I’ll ever own, Bobby Tailor’s toddler vehicles are inspired by the world’s most lavish car brands and feature shining alloy rims, hand-finished leather seats, top-grade electronics, and more. Of course, offering custom-made toy cars necessitates manufacturing flexibility for single-unit production, and developing miniature high-end car parts is no easy feat.

Faced with the aforementioned challenges, Bobby Tailor founder Steffen de Bochdanovits realized that industrial 3D printing might offer a suitable solution, and reached out to 3D printing company EOS for their AM products. Not only has 3D printing helped to sort out the challenge of small-batch or single-unit manufacturing, it has also allowed the auto manufacturer to design and create complex parts for the mini cars.

For instance, the company uses the EOS M 290 DMLS 3D printer to manufacture small parts for the car as well as complex metal tools, which are then used to mold the ignition lock and key, as well as the fuel cap. Other larger parts, such as the hubcaps, cooler, cockpit, and logo are 3D printed out of powdered plastic on the EOSint P 395. Finally, all the 3D printed parts, as well as the handmade luxury items and electronics, are assembled onto a standard chassis.

For its 3D printing needs, Bobby Tailor has enlisted the help of Creabis, a 3D printing firm from Kirchheim, near Munich. Using its in-house EOSINT P 395, Creabis is responsible for making the aluminum rims for the Bobby cars, arguably their most complex and impressive component. The rims, not actually printed from aluminum, are made from PA 2200 (Polyamide white).

“Milling a component like this from aluminum is almost impossible", said Ralf Deuke, CEO at Creabis GmbH. "It is a relatively small form with a complex structure and the machine hours alone would be prohibitive. 3D-layering processes are cheaper, offer more design freedom and allow faster iterations. The EOS products provide access to the highest quality, as many of our customers would attest to. Now we can offer our partners a genuine first-class product.”

3D printing has also allowed the company to cut back on production time for the rims, as it estimates roughly 22 hours are saved for every rim it 3D prints, as well as significant money. Perhaps the most exciting bonus is that it allows for custom-designed rims, selected by the client.

Amazingly, thanks to 3D printing technologies, de Bochdanovits was able to bring his luxury Bobby cars to life in an impressively short time frame. According to the company, Bobby Tailor cars were conceived of in 2015, and by May 2016, the company was already selling its first toy models.

"This type of service would, with conventional manufacturing technologies, either not be possible, or would mean incurring horrendous costs for the manufacturer and, ultimately, the customer,” commented de Bochdanovits. "The possibility of having a high-quality Bobby Car additively manufactured forms the basis for my company's entire business model.”

The German-made luxury toy vehicles cost between €3,200 and €4,900.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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