How Toyota Factory Works with Zortrax 3D Printers
Toyota factories in Poland use a Zortrax M300 Plus 3D printer to make manufacturing jigs on demand. According to Toyota, investment in the 3D printing technology in automotive can pay for itself within one year. The key advantage of the Zortrax 3D printing technology, according to Toyota engineers are its agility.
“We have been using 3D printers for years now. They were already here when I came to work at Toyota four years ago.”, says Kondek. According to him, jigs that are 3D printed in automotive industry today used to be made by a separate tooling division equipped with CNC machines and other subtractive manufacturing tools. Fabrication of more demanding designs were simply outsourced to external subcontractors.
“Obviously, using such tools severely limited what we could do design-wise. Every time we thought about a new jig, we had to think twice about whether it could be fabricated or not. 3D printing in automotive sector solve this problem.”, explains Kondek. He adds that currently over 95% of the 3D printed jigs made at Toyota factory are manufactured in the LPD technology. The rest is 3D printed in other 3D printing technologies.