Italian luxury car and SUV manufacturer Lamborghini is widely known for being ahead of the curve by implementing the latest technologies to the automobile market. Therefore, it came as no surprise when Lamborghini decided to 3D print car parts. By integrating 3D printing with traditional car-making methods, Lamborghini is creating timeless masterpieces - such as the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 and the Sián Roadster - and showing everyone how it's done.
Designers use 3D printing software to send CAD data to a massive Inkjet printer. For this specific use case, the printer prints on layers of PA12 (Polyamide 12) or EPX 82. This process can take up to 65 hours and produces a hot cube of powder with the part inside. The excess material encapsulating the component is sandblasted off, revealing the final component.
PA 12 and EPX 82 are the primary materials used by Lamborghini to create 3D printed parts. PA 12 is a type of nylon that's commonly used in manufacturing to create prototypes and functional parts. It's tough, strong and mouldable.
EPX 82 is a durable engineering material with a heat deflection temperature of up to 130°C. Its properties suit Lamborghini's purposes: their cars need to be super fast, and some have air vents in shapes that might otherwise not be achievable with standard car-making methods.
In 2020, Lamborghini 3D printed 20,000 series parts, of which 5000 were Urus fuel caps. There were also 60 air vent units printed for the Sián FKP 37 - Lamborghini's exclusive, high-end hybrid model. Thanks to 3D printing, the total turnaround for this part was that of two weeks. The Huracan STO also features a 3D printed bracket that holds carbon fibres parts together as well as a 3D printed key that opens the front bonnet.
Lamborghini plans to continue 3D printing parts in-house and to, eventually, standardise the viability of the 3D printing process for each different car part. By testing 3D printing on its top models, Lamborghini is validating the use of 3D printing in the automobile industry and opening up the door for a new generation of cars.
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