Stratasys recently released a statement concerning the development of a 3D printed self-balancing scooter. This scooter was developed by a team at the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten in Germany.
“The University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten is participating in a…project: ‘Digital Product Life Cycle.’” The goal of this project “is to establish a fully integrated and automated digital development process for the production of customized products.” In order to achieve this goal, the team “built the entire product development process for the scooter around additive manufacturing. As a result, the team produced the first fully-functional prototype 85% faster compared to traditional manufacturing methods.”
As Dr. Markus Till, Head of Department Mechanical Engineering at University of Ravensburg-Weingarten explains: “we realized 3D printing offers the best possible manufacturing solution for an ideal executable product development method for a customized product. We designed the entire product development process around Stratasys’ additive technologies, enabling us to quickly design and produce a fully-functional prototype of a geometry that was previously too complex to be created through any other traditional method – offering the first viable alternative for quick and cost-effective customized production.”
As for the specifics – the scooter’s “frame and platform parts were 3D printed in tough Nylon6 material on the large-scale Stratasys Fortus 900mc Production 3D Printer.” This allowed for the scooter’s larger parts to be 3D printed all in one piece. Next, “the platform was fitted with a 3D printed rubber-like cover for better grip, which was produced in Agilus30 material on the Stratasys Connex3 Color Multi-Material 3D Printer.”
Andy Middleton, President EMEA, Stratasys, adds: “the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten is a prime example of how designers, engineers, and manufacturers today are involving additive manufacturing from the outset of product design to be able to exploit its benefits throughout the entire development cycle. As such, we believe it’s crucial that the next generation of engineers are given the right education to prepare them for the requirements of engineering within industry. As we see more educational institutions continue to adopt additive technologies, we expect to see more students learn the relevant skills and tools to be competitive for top engineering and manufacturing jobs.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Stratasys