Wisconsin-based automotive manufacturing service provider Techniplas has introduced its Techniplas Prime service as a subsidiary of the company. Since launch in 2018, Prime is said to have helped Techniplas produce more than 40 million parts. It was designed as an e-manufacturing 3D printing platform for car manufacturers, providing instant quotes for automotive engineers and designers looking to produce lightweight parts for their vehicles. The goal of Prime is to be a “one-stop shop automotive design-to-manufacturing service” dubbed by Techniplas as the “Airbnb of auto e-manufacturing.”
The platform leverages the facilities of Techniplas’ partners across the globe to provide its 3D printing service and connects car makers to localized qualified manufacturers to produce their desired automotive parts.
The Airbnb of auto e-manufacturing?
The core service of Techniplas relies on injection molding. However, in 2017, the company launched its additive manufacturing arm, Techniplas Digital, headed by Avi Reichental, former CEO and Director of 3D Systems. In an interview with Plastics News at the time, Reichental described the hybrid approach adopted by Techniplas as “the future of short-run manufacturing.”
Techniplas is continuing to push forward its 3D printing capabilities for the automotive industry with the Prime service. Car developers looking to produce lightweight 3D printed parts using Techniplas Prime are asked to upload their 3D model to the platform website, where they will then receive an instant quote to produce the design. The platform also provides a lightweighting service that autonomously optimizes the topology of uploaded 3D models. Then, Techniplas will source the part from one of its twenty-five ‘Prime Partners’ that is local to the customer.
Techniplas Prime’s apparent likeness to is due to its nature as an alternate hospitality service. Techniplas claims that the model for its Prime service operates on the same principle, providing parts for automotive manufacturers without opening a factory, by using the facilities of its manufacturing partners instead.
Techniplas Prime suggest that this approach is providing an output equivalent to establishing more than one factory a year, with reportedly “1,000 truckloads of car parts per month” produced for automotive manufacturers like BMW, Daimler and Ford.
Forward into additive for Techniplas
3D Printing Industry spoke to Avi Reichental at CES 2018, where he discussed the launch of Techniplas Prime at the time, describing it as the “first to provide automated lightweighting solutions, additive manufacturing options with instant pricing quotations and localized manufacturing.”
Techniplas’ efforts in additive manufacturing technologies is part of the company’s goal to make a ‘connected world’. As well as launching its Techniplas Prime service, the company also announced several new members to its Open Innovation Program at CES 2018, including topology optimization software company ParaMatters. The company’s addition to the program enabled its CogniCAD software to be made available on the Techniplas Prime digital manufacturing platform.
Further additions to Techniplas’ Open Innovation Program includes Nexa3D and NXT Factory. The two companies, together with ParaMatters as well, provided additive and generative technologies for Techniplas to help manufacture a concept vehicle in 2018.
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Featured image shows an artist’s interpretation of Techniplas’ digital hybrid approach. Graphic via Techniplas LLC