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Utilizing AM for Manufacturing Tooling in Automotive Assembly

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Additive manufacturing in the automotive industry is not just used for prototype parts anymore. With GM’s vision and drive to launch multiple electric vehicles by 2025 comes the need for customized manufacturing aids and tools at reduced lead times that can improve efficiencies and safety for assembly processes in automotive manufacturing plants. Traditional metal tools to check studs on automotive body panels were heavy and bulky, comprised multiple components that required machining, welding/assembly and typically had a long lead time for manufacturing and delivery. Replacing these tools with redesigned AM tools allowed for improved ergonomics and safety due to light weighting. DFAM principles enabled reduction of design complexity as multiple components could now be consolidated. AM tools are more efficient in day-to-day operations as they are designed to conform to the sheet metal geometry and the task at hand. Use of AM manufacturing tools allowed for substantially reduced lead times and overall costs. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Get a better idea on how AM is being utilized for manufacturing tools within GM.
  • Understand how to utilize AM in redesigning traditional metal tools.

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