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Škoda Auto Was Awarded for Integration of 3D Printing Technologies

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Automotive manufacturer Škoda Auto received an award from the Czech Republic’s Confederation of Industry for its ‘More flexible with 3D print farms” project of integrating additive technologies into manufacturing. The company mainly uses domestic 3D printers by Prusa Research. 

According to Michael Oeljeklaus, Board Member for Production and Logistics at Škoda Auto, the company utilizes additive manufacturing for faster and more efficient (as well as cost-efficient) production. He adds that he is happy that the project was recognized among the most innovative Industry 4.0 approaches in the country. 

Škoda Auto utilizes 3D printing technologies for rapid prototyping, equipment and tools manufacturing, as well as spare parts for equipment and material testing. The logistics division has been testing around 50 3D printers. Their biggest farm consists of 10 machines and is placed at the workshop at the company’s main plant in Mladá Boleslav. The majority of the devices were made by Prusa Research, a company led byJosef Prusa, a well-known engineer in the field of additive manufacturing. 

The printers are connected to a single network and help with making needed tools and spare parts in a short time, resulting in reduced idling time of assembly lines. This also removes the need for storing large numbers of spare parts, as well as providing an ability to quickly adapt existing products for relevant tasks (if the products exist in the digital space).

One of the best examples of flexibility of additive manufacturing is making almost 1,500 face shields in spring 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic just started. A company quickly equipped its workers with shields, as well as the employees of other organizations that provide healthcare services.

Speaking of Josef Prusa, he pushes the idea of manufacturing clusters even further and owns one of the largest (if not the largest) 3D printing farms in the world. There are 600 in-house developed 3D printers in the headquarters of Prusa Research in Prague, Czech Republic. They constantly print parts for new machines. The next step is specialized 3D farms with module design and automatic control and maintenance. The picture above shows a prototype of such a farm, equipped with the Prusa XL 3D printers. It was shown at the Dubai Expo 2020. And if you need a larger build volume, we'd strongly recommend considering the gMax 2 Pro Dual Extruder 3D Printer with a huge build volume of 457 x 457 x 609 mm.

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