Seat Prototype Centre Opts for Additive Manufacturing
Seat has opted for additive manufacturing for its development and production. The 3D printing lab at the Seat prototype centre can manufacture prototypes for vehicle development and custom tools.
Seat's 3D lab uses nine different printers to manufacture prototypes and tools using multi jet fusion, sintering, lasering, filament fusion and UV curing. After the file has been sent to the printer, it then takes about 15 hours to produce a precise, custom-fit part. By selecting the right material and printing procedure, users can also achieve a certain weight or a material temperature resistance of up to around 100 degrees.
80% of Seat's printed parts are prototypes for vehicle development. However, Seat is also manufacturing tools and objects for assembly lines. Continuous filament fabrication is used to print tools in order to ensure their stability. "Thanks to this technology, we help in the development of the product and also in the manufacturing and assembly, since we supply tailor-made tools that are lightweight and ready to be used," says Norbert Martín, Head of Seat's 3D printing lab.
3D printing for customer-orientated applications
Seat plans to make greater use of 3D printing in the future. This means that additive manufacturing could be used for customer-orientated applications in order to print custom parts, limited-edition series or parts that are difficult to source. "If, for example, you need a part from one of our historic models that is no longer in production, we can print it," says Martín.