Can the automotive industry benefit from 3D printing?
In partnership with Swinburne University, the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) and repair solution company Tradiebot Industries is seeking to transform the automotive repair industry with 3D printing technologies and robotics.
Some issues the automotive industry is currently grappling with include material wastage, limited availability of skilled labour and long lead times for replacement parts. But the RepairBot project is looking to solve those issues by fixing parts that were previously unrepairable and reducing overall repair times and costs through integrating additive manufacturing, 3D scanning and robotics.
David Chuter, IMCRC CEO and Managing Director, says the challenges of a project like this include the need for appropriate validation to ensure repaired parts can be as good as, or even better than, the original part. There are also challenges around the types of materials that are used in car parts – not all parts are made from the same type of plastic, which means part of the challenge will be making sure that the solutions can be deployed in a range of applications.