FRANKFURT, Germany—Generative product design and additive manufacturing are  capabilities that Techniplas, a global design and manufacturing provider of automotive products and services, is working to expand. They’re also key to a concept vehicle that Techniplas displayed last fall at Formnext 2018, where the attendees saw how the company is integrating design for additive manufacturing capabilities to deliver significant light-weighting and intelligent connectivity to the automotive industry.

The concept vehicle, unveiled at CES 2018, reflects the capabilities of the proprietary Techniplas Prime e-manufacturing platform. Developed by Techniplas Digital, the company’s California-based digital transformation unit, the platform leverages Techniplas’s core engineering expertise and manufacturing facilities, together with dozens of its qualified manufacturing partners.

“We are very pleased to bring to Formnext a concept vehicle that is packed with our most advanced smart solutions and light-weighting capabilities,” said George Votis, founder and executive chairman of Techniplas, in a press release. “Over the past 18 months, we brought on board key generative design and additive manufacturing capabilities and cemented innovation partnerships that are designed to future-proof our business and enhance our contribution to the future of mobility.”

Techniplas Prime is reported to be the industry’s first e-platform to provide online light-weighting solutions, additive manufacturing options with instant pricing quotations, and localized serial manufacturing for the auto industry. The platform leverages new additive and generative technologies from Nexa3D, NXT Factory, and ParaMatters, and can fulfill orders worldwide.

Among the advanced capabilities demonstrated by the concept vehicle are a trailing suspension arm that reportedly reduces weight by 48 percent, several futuristic tire rim designs, and a seat back that shows how effective design for additive manufacturing can substantially reduce assembly time, part count, material usage, and overall cost without performance degradation. The company is also demonstrating a first of its kind, cognitively-lit sunroof that is programmable and designed to demonstrate how car surfaces are transitioning from core functionality into expanded human-to-machine interfaces.

Techniplas (www.techniplas.com) said that it and its partners are “showcasing the combined power of generative and additive manufacturing technologies for scalable manufacturing of tomorrow’s mobility solutions.”

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