Honda Access Uses 3D Printing to Prototype Accessories


There were many revolutionary developments in the automotive industry within the last year. Among others, these include a fully 3D printed concept car from Local Motors, advancements in electric cars and pricing models from Tesla, the announcement of self-driving cars from Google and Apple and of course, the increased use of additive manufacturing for producing parts for some of the world's fastest race cars. Now, it's come to light that Honda Access, a division of Honda that focuses on car and motorcycle accessories, has been actively using additive manufacturing technology to gain a competitive advantage with car and motorcycle accessory designs using a Stratasys 3D printing system to improve the development efficiencies and synchronize the development schedule of the accessories.

The Honda Accessories development center, which is headquartered in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, manufactures accessories for Honda's cars, motorcycles and other items around the world. To maximize customization efficiency, the company uses a Stratasys Objet Eden500V 3D printer, a printer normally used for dental purposes, to substitute their existing CNC machines.

Considering that the team in their Product Planning Department designs up to 300 accessories for each Honda car model each year alone, it becomes clear just how much of an impact 3D printing can have on their development times. Among other accessories that the team designs include accessories required by specific local markets, accessories for driver intention, accessories for climate and road surface conditions and accessories for different traffic conditions.

Although the majority of this 3D printing happens behind the scenes and doesn't actually make it down the chain to the end user, it's very promising that additive manufacturing will become a viable option for creating custom automotive accessories on demand.



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