Stratasys Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd, a global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, announced a customer story illustrating how Honda Access Co. Ltd. (“Honda Access”) of Honda, leverages 3D printing technology to gain competitive advantage with car accessories prototyped by Stratasys 3D printing system, thus improving the development efficiencies by synchronizing the development schedule of automotive and car accessories.
Headquartered in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, Honda Access manufactures accessories for Honda’s cars, motorcycles and other items globally, designing up to 300 accessories for each Honda car model for local buyers based on the requirements such as driver intention, climate and road surface conditions in different traffic conditions. To maximize customization efficiency, the company opted for a Stratasys Objet® Eden500V™ 3D printer in 2013, with the objective to accelerate the product development cycle, substituting the CNC machines.
“Producing prototype parts by CNC machines entailed excessive effort and cost, full-time operators are required to monitor the production on-site. 3D printing speeds up the prototyping process, it allows us to test and modify the design rapidly and cost-effectively. The development of accessories is accelerated which can synchronize with that of the vehicle itself,” commented Hiroshi Takemori, Senior Researcher of Product Planning Department, Design Group, “The 3D printer’s ability to create fine details, ease to remove support material and printing accuracy are all critical to product verification. Design quality has improved significantly and the large printer tray size allows us to create large parts, such as wheels up to 14 inches. 3D printing technology has become indispensable for our business.”
Honda Access primarily uses the Vero™ materials, rigid opaque materials and paints the part surface with a clear coating producing a texture that closely resembles the final product.
“Honda Access is a perfect example of how 3D printing is an enabler for businesses looking to gain competitive advantage through streamlining of manufacturing processes,” said Hiroaki Katayama, President and CEO of Stratasys Japan. “Cost-effective and speedy customization for the different geo markets is key to success for Honda Access; and 3D printing has proved to be one of the winning contributors. Committed to customer excellence, we are happy that we succeeded in facilitating customers to streamline the manufacturing process while enhancing customer satisfaction.”