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Lead-time reduction and rapid prototyping of tools and fixtures, therefore I AM: A case study about additive manufacturing in the automotive industry
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how to decrease lead-times of conventionally manufactured prototypes of tools and fixtures. Which could lead to increased knowledge of how an operations site within the automotive industry could utilize additive manufacturing when producing company specific prototypes of tools and fixtures.  The research approach applied in this case study combines a literature review to systematically find relevant literature aligned with the research topic of additive manufacturing or 3D printing related to lead-time reduction and generative design terms. With the help of interviews and observations profound knowledge was gained as preparation before continuing the research. Thereafter, a pre-study was conducted in order to further enhance the understanding of the industrial context of the two chosen fixtures (study objects). Rapid prototyping activities with additive manufacturing processes and technologies of experimentation character was conducted iteratively with both 3D CAD and 3D printing software and hardware. Analysis of the data was conducted through a comparison between lead-times of conventionally manufactured and 3D printed prototypes of the two chosen fixtures. Moreover, identifying potential effects with additive manufacturing of prototypes have with a SWOT analysis.  The case study found that additive manufacturing could significantly decrease lead-times when producing prototypes compared to conventional manufacturing. Furthermore, the results showed that the effects of additive manufacturing are plenty and rather complex due to the fact of this new way to manufacture prototypes. Therefore, the term design for additive manufacturing need first class priority if next steps were to be taken in the additive manufacturing field to enhance industrial and academic benefits.  The research on this subject is strongly constrained by the scarcity of empirical experience and, consequently, by the scarcity of available empirical data. Research publication on the topic are fruitful and plenty but their findings specified to their chosen study objects. This case study gives an up-to-date contribution to the topic of additive manufacturing with endless possibilities to reduce lead-time with rapid prototyping activities that utilizes additive manufacturing. Moreover, the research approach used in this thesis combines 3D CAD data through theoretical concepts and physical objects with additive manufacturing practice. Overall, the results can be used to improve academic research in the topic and promote discussion among different actors entering or within the additive manufacturing field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 78
Keywords [en]
3D printing, Additive manufacturing, Generative design, Lead-time, Rapid prototyping
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-44762OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-44762DiVA, id: diva2:1334200
External cooperation
Operations site
Subject / course
Innovation & design
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-02 Created: 2019-07-02 Last updated: 2019-07-02Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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