3D Printed for Personalization
For certain firms, shifting towards Industry 4.0 necessitates an upscaling to mass production of identical or near-identical product lines. In the cases of other companies, there is a potential for increased customization and the creation of bespoke products, courtesy of industrial advancements.
Paravan GmbH constitutes this latter type of company. This is a German company which develops and supplies independent and autonomous drive systems for vehicles.
Since 2005, Paravan has led the international market in the provision of vehicle adaptations for those with special needs or disabilities. This has been achieved as an aspect of a broader mobility concept, based upon the modification of vehicles, ramp systems, lifts, and cartridge lifts.
The solutions offered by Paravan are tailored specifically to the medical requirements of individuals, incorporating such features as rotating seating, loading systems, wheelchair access, and several more accessibility assets for comfort and safety. The provision of personalized vehicle components which enable mobile freedom – one of the most precious things in the world - is Paravan’s passion.
Traditional Methods Versus 3D Printing
A broad range of machines are owned and operated by Paravan. These include a turn-mill combination machine, a 5-axis milling machine, a laser for sheet metal parts, and other smaller machines.
As the company now operates with a BigRep ONE, there is no need for Paravan to rely on older, time-intensive machinery for the delivery of parts. Paravan now produces prototypes nearly 50% quicker using 3D printing than it did using conventional methods, as well as saving 75% on production costs.
Creating New Components with the ONE
Paravan makes use of a BigRep ONE 3D printer in order to produce parts for its safety-related, road-approved industrial applications. These include Paravan’s first ever prototype for a revolutionary new steering mechanism.
This Paravan steering wheel is electronic, in contrast to the steering mechanism of most cars which is connected to the steering column directly. Using the BigRep ONE 3D printer, Paravn designed their own cover for the steering wheel.
Due to the nature of Paravan’s customized vehicle business, the ability to complete fast prototyping on a large scale is vital. With a clean CAD file, the engineers at Paravan can design functional parts which are tailored to the needs of individuals. Often the print can be completed within 24 hours.
Custom-fitting vehicles has consequently become a rapid and cost-efficient process. This process has enabled them to continue creating new parts for production.
Paravan has developed custom grips which enable drivers to maintain a steadier hold on the steering mechanism or gear stick. This is particularly useful for customers who have trouble grasping the controls with their hands.
Paravan takes a mold of the hand grips of the individuals in question before creating a custom grip using an easily malleable, flexible material. A 3D scan of the final model is converted to a CAD file using a 3D scanner. Once the design has been refined, the prototype is ready to be printed on The ONE.
The Right Materials for Innovation
Post-processing the prints is a crucial aspect of Paravan’s process, as the printed parts are occasionally placed into the custom vehicles directly.
Paravan engineers feel that it can be time-consuming to paint the pieces smooth. Consequently, they tend to lightly sand the printed parts before priming them which creates the finish.
As Paravan carries on innovating within the automotive industry, the printing technology of BigRep 3D will help the company explore the potential of autonomous driving.
For firms which operate at the forefront of automotive technological innovation, the ability to rapidly design and print prototypes enables them to remain at the cutting-edge of their fields. In Paravan’s case, this means that they can continue to provide life-changing services and products to their customers.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by BigRep.
For more information on this source, please visit BigRep.