3D printing or rapid prototyping services have slowly crept into just about every industry one can think of. Rapid prototyping services are in fact taking over manual labor on huge numbers and making work far easier than before. With constant changes and new demands coming in every month (perhaps even every week), the innovations coming out from the rapid prototyping arena seems to be endless. This has weaved new dreams and visions for manufacturers, especially those who are into mass production. One industry that has started using rapid prototyping services comprehensively is the automotive industry.
The development and proper assessment of innovative modular seats is an essential matter for the automotive industry. However, the reality of the matter is that it is a very expensive and time-consuming process. Hybrid prototypes and virtual models could help accelerate the development process for car seats. These hybrid prototypes are mostly manufactured through the means of rapid prototyping with the use of certain multi materials. Hybrid prototypes respect the location and dimensions or scopes of the internal components of a vehicle, making these prototypes outstanding in nature. This is an important factor for development that takes place for vehicles that are used frequently and may undergo a lot of stress.
There is a lengthy yet articulate process that goes into designing and producing using rapid prototyping services. The module design in particular for this kind of modular seat aims at producing and developing a lightweight automotive seat that is multi-functional and aimed to be used by multi-purpose vehicles (especially by city cars). The external shape of the seat is defined by its designers and then made through the use of special software. The prototype that is virtually created has been quite resourceful in providing solutions to the ‘conflicts’ that occur between the seats’ main parts. The modular seat comprises of numerous mechanical elements. These elements include mainly the headrest clamp, the foam that is for the backrest, the headrest foam, the cover for the seat, the foam of the seat base and the backrest spring.
During the rapid prototyping process, the most imperative of the operations is the segment dealing with part placement. Since throughout the process, material is added over and over in order to support the prototype construct its position, this has a strong impact on the place in which the support ribs are secured on the surfaces of the product. Resulting from the requirement to create supports for surfaces with inclinations, there are actually two different types of surfaces under the final model: the low quality coarse surfaces in the spaces where supports have to be built and the high quality surfaces where supports are not needed.
Creating the 3D prototypes using the rapid prototyping machine includes the converting or moving of STL files for the segments that are contained in the machine’s software. To manufacture the concrete physical model of the product, the related STL file is transferred through machine code using special printer client software, this software stands as powerful software as it permits the user to authenticate the STL file, as well as auto-fix any errors and further figure out what the better position for the model would be, helping to optimize both build time and space.
These modular seats also have to look attractive and need to fit in well with the overall internal and external setting of the car. This requires proper planning and executing. Several sciences also come into consideration while these seats are being manufactured. The position of the seats needs to be such that those who are sitting on them must be comfortable. The driver’s seat has those extra special requirements and expectations. Geometrical calculations based on different angles are also considered. Mathematical estimates for the dimensions for the diverse parts, which will come together like a puzzle piece, are also taken into consideration. All of these factors in addition to several others need to be measured before the actual production of the seats happens.
Different methodologies have been outlined in order to further develop these new modular car seats that are both lightweight and multi-functional. Hybrid prototypes and virtual models have made it possible for the development process of car seats to be rather swift and notable. A process that was once considered a lengthy and difficult one on different fronts has now become a lot easier due to the overall development in manufacturing and the processes that come In between. New methodologies of production are allowing for realistic and credible predictions to be suggested for seat design as well as interactions of these designs (i.e. with the use of human models). This is both interesting and exciting considering the fact that the automotive industry is at a boom all over the world.
The intricate complexities that go into creating the best possible modular seat stands as proof regarding the fine vision that the designers and manufacturers have for the automotive industry at large.
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