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When we speak about automotive, Continental is probably one of the first names that pops up in our mind. They develop and manufacture tires – they’re the fourth-largest worldwide producer -, brake and safety systems, interior electronics, and much more.
The constant focus on research and innovation is embedded in the DNA of a company founded in the 1871, that after 150 years is still bringing cutting-edge solutions to the varied fields of the automotive market.
Continental Engineering Services is a branch of the company with more than 1.800 employees that focuses on niche customers for engineering services, samples and series production. They started to investigate the 3D printing world already in 1996, with an SLA 3D printer.
Originally outsourcing all of the Selective Laser Sintering polymer parts production, Continental moved from the BUY to the MAKE strategy with the purchase of a ProMaker P4500 HT SLS 3D printer.
In few months, also thanks to the support of our process and application specialists, the Continental production center was able to print parts in different materials for sample and series applications:
“We see Prodways not only as a 3D printers manufacturer. With their engineering and applications team we established a direct and human relationship that has a true great value, allowing us to find the best solutions for every specific case.”
“Now it takes only 3 days to go from the CAD design to the physical part ready to be tested, and this shortens dramatically our time to market by a factor of 3 or 4.”
Kevin Veysseix, Continental Engineering Services
On the purely technical side, the driving factors for the choice of a ProMaker P4500 HT printer have been:
While the direct print of a functional part is the most common use for an SLS printer, the Continental team shared with us another way they are using the ProMaker P4500 HT: the indirect production of thermoformed blisters for electronic components or control units.
“By combining SLS with Thermoforming technology, individually shaped blisters can now be produced much more quickly than before. Production previously took many weeks or even months, now you can hold the finished product in your hands in just a few days.”
says Stefan Kammann, head of the ADaM (Competence Center for Additive Design and Manufacturing)
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