Use case / Audi Sport

Audi Sport: Designing fixtures in minutes for 3D printing

 

The challenge

During production of the Audi R8 and Audi e-tron GT, Audi Sport needed to design approximately 800 new fixtures, jigs, and other tools. Traditionally, each of these items requires a skilled engineer to manually design it in CAD software, diverting valuable resources from the more challenging aspects of production.

The outcome

Audi Sport adopted fixturemate to address the design bottleneck. Using it, they cut fixture design time from 2-4 hours to 10-20 minutes, and enabled a broader group to develop and manufacture fixtures, jigs, and other tools independently. Combined with 3D printing, lead times for fixtures shrank from four weeks to just 24 hours, reducing part costs by 80%.

Audi Sport uses fixturemate and 3D printing

Location

Böllinger Höfe, Heilbronn, Germany

Industry

Automotive

Size

1500+

Product

fixturemate

80%

reduced part costs

A combination of fixturemate and 3D printing enabled Audi Sport to produce fixtures faster and cheaper

92%

reduced design time

What took 2-4 hours in CAD now be done in 20 minutes or less using fixturemate

1 day

fixture lead times

Design automation and 3D printing means parts can be produced and deployed the same week

Design is the bottleneck

Since adopting 3D printing in 2012, Audi Sport has transformed their operations, boosting efficiency and flexibility by producing parts in-house and cutting reliance on external suppliers. However, the challenge of rapidly producing a high volume of fixtures soon led to process bottlenecks.

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Increasing design output

Using fixturemate, Audi Sport increased their fixture design output to meet production demands.

fixturemate's simple click-and-drag interface allowed easy design of features such as supports, text labels, holes for machined parts or cable routing, and clamps from a library of pre-designed parts. Creating complex features, like the negative for free-form geometry, was streamlined with fixturemate, reducing a traditionally labor-intensive CAD task to a single click.

fixturemate also integrated seamlessly with Audi Sport's 3D printing workflow, including slicing with UltiMaker Cura.

Removing barriers

fixturemate's intuitive interface enabled quick mastery by people of varying skill levels, including trainees.

This approach represented a substantial leap forward from a conventional production tool workflow, which typically involves a long turnaround time conveying design requirements to a design engineer, outsourcing fabrication to an external supplier, and potentially repeating this cycle if there are issues in communication or manufacturing.

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Valuable automotive insights

Ole von Seelen, Chief Commercial Officer at trinckle, reflected on the successful collaboration with Audi Sport:

"The Audi Sport team has been more than just a client - their positive feedback culture has been extremely helpful in improving the design workflow again and again and keeping the intuitiveness at a top level. The input of our customers is essential to align our design automation as closely as possible to the needs of our industrial customers."

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"In CAD we usually need two to four hours to produce a design, depending on the size of the part. With fixturemate we can produce a usable fixture in minutes. Because it's easy to use, we can bring in trainees and show them how to use it, so they can work directly with it to create usable fixtures in a short time."
Cem Guelaylar

Additive Manufacturing Lead, Audi Sport GmbH

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Accelerate your design processes

By integrating fixturemate, Audi Sport has boosted manufacturing agility, allowing the company to focus on the more challenging aspects of automotive design and production. Integrating fixturemate has enabled design engineers to multiply their output and fostered a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

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