Volkswagen 3D prints tools, jigs, and fixtures, reducing cycle time operation, labor, and the need for reworking, while improving tool ergonomics. They achieve this at a tenth of the usual cost. The company estimates that they saved €325,000 in 2017 alone.
Challenge – 3rd party suppliers
Before working with Ultimaker, Volkswagen Autoeuropa used third-party suppliers to manufacture their custom tools and prototypes. The process took several weeks, especially when multiple designs or assemblies were required. It also meant more paperwork, quotations, and the adoption of a trial-and-error approach, all of which were holding up the tool manufacturing process – at additional cost.
Solution – Volkswagen 3D Prints in-house
After validating the concept in 2014, Volkswagen Autoeuropa now has 7 Ultimaker 3D printers in operation, with 93% of manufactured tools previously made externally now created in-house. Within 2 years, their assembly-tooling cost savings rose – from 70% to 95%. Ultimaker enabled Volkswagen Autoeuropa to test solutions without having to contact suppliers, reducing the time taken by an average of 8 weeks.
*Case study is courtesy of Ultimaker.