Volkswagen Autoeuropa: Maximizing production efficiency with 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures

Volkswagen Autoeuropa, who is responsible for manufacturing iconic Volkswagen models such as the Scirocco and Sharan, and has yearly output levels of 100,000 cars, now uses 3D printing to revolutionize its workflow. The facility 3D prints manufacturing aids that are used daily on the assembly line. No longer having to rely on external suppliers for its tools, jigs, and fixtures greatly reduces the costs and shrinks lead times from several weeks to just a few days. The case of Volkswagen Autoeuropa illustrates how 3D printing can be of great value to the automotive industry. While - traditionally - 3D printing used to be associated with creating prototypes, it has great potential for manufacturing businesses in creating custom tools, jigs, fixtures, and other manufacturing aids. With 3D printing, it’s possible to create highly complex designs and make rapid revisions and amendments, without cost penalties or long lead times. The tools can be tailored to match exact requirements, making function and performance the main drivers of design - not cost or time.”