Feb 28, 2017 | By Benedict
Barcelona-based automobile manufacturer AD Tramontana has teamed up with 3D printing bureau (and fellow Catalonian company) Eceleni to develop 3D printed components for its latest vehicles. The 3D printed car parts include dashboard components and wiper shafts.
Inspired by both Formula One vehicles and jet fighters, the Tramontana sports car has come a long way since its unveiling at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. Though if you’ve never heard of the car or its Spanish maker, that’s probably because only 12 get made each year. At first, that annual dozen were all the same, but these days each customer gets a big say in how their personal Tramontana Car is made, with the company able to offer the desirable triptych of quality, rarity, and total customization.
In order to shift its level of bespoke production up a gear, AD Tramontana has now adopted additive manufacturing technologies, allowing it to produce entirely unique components for each car it builds. The carmaker has partnered with fellow Barcelona company Eceleni, a 3D printing bureau that uses Stratasys PolyJet 3D printers to provide a rapid prototyping service for the local community, and has also struck a deal with 3D Kreator, a Polish 3D printer manufacturer. With the help of those two additive manufacturing experts, AD Tramontana has begun to produce a number of 3D printed car parts for the next generation of Tramontana luxury vehicles.
AD Tramontana is in fact so committed to offering bespoke options to its customers, it actually runs a separate company, Wild Wind Cars, to deal with that aspect of production. With the help of Eceleni and 3D Kreator, Wild Wind has been able to fabricate 3D printed dashboard components, 3D printed windscreen wiper shafts, and even 3D printed internal components. While many of these parts are only prototypes, the company also plans to 3D print end-use parts. Dani Martín, an engineer at AD Tramontana, said that 3D printing “allows you to gain a lot of time, accelerate the manufacturing process, and ensure that everything will be correct.”
3D printing is seen by many as a way to reduce the cost of vehicle maintenance in the future, offering drivers and mechanics a means of fabricating one-off parts themselves rather than buying costly components from the car manufacturers. Additive manufacturing could also be used to localize car production, with rising companies like Divergent 3D arguing that simplified, modular vehicles could be produced virtually anywhere, cutting out significant transport costs from the auto industry.
AD Tramontana is not, of course, too concerned about saving money: the company’s customized vehicles cost around half a million euros, and 3D printing is being used to add extra touches of luxury to its already sumptuous cars. It’s not a process that you or I are likely to benefit from, but it’s nonetheless interesting to see 3D printing adopted by yet another high-end car manufacturer.
Want more automotive additive manufacturing? Revisit our list of 25 incredible 3D printed cars from around the world.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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