In the automotive sector, 3D printing is seen as a key enabling technology for mass customization – the ability to quickly and cheaply add custom elements to individual vehicles. Japanese automaker Daihatsu Motor Co. has launched a new 3D printing pilot project that will allow customers to add unique elements to their new convertibles.
Customers buying Daihatsu’s Copen convertibles will now have the option of adding 3D-printed effects “skins” to customize their vehicles. The company is using Stratasys FDM 3D printing technology to build the three-dimensional patterns, which can be placed on the front and rear bumpers.
“The effect skin project was very attractive to us,” said Osamu Fujishita, chief engineer of the product planning division at Daihatsu Motor Company. “We’re interested in expanding the market for customized plastic bodied cars. And we see Stratasys 3D printing technology as extremely effective for this.”