Cutting a dash inside SUVs

A major OEM approached 3DPD for prototyping of a dashboard for a SUV. Dashboard prototyping is always a challenge because of its size & complexities. A dashboard is amongst the parts of the vehicle that combines style and functionality. A perfect fit and impeccable finish are highly desired. 3DPD's job was to build a prototype to validate the initial design. To be followed by five prototypes using vacuum casting process to undergo rigorous engineering testing and validation.

The exercise included 3D Product Development (P) Ltd. #30, AVS Compound, Koramangala 4th Block, Bangalore-560 034, India Ph: +91 80 25526636, 25529424 Email: the "mother" dashboard and all its accompanying "child" components such as gove box, air vents, etc. To achieve the required strength and accuracy in the initial prototype 3DPD opted for the SLS. Measuring 1470 x 550 x 500mm, the "mother" dashboard exceeded the build area of the SLS system. Using its expertise & experience 3DPD built the instrument panel in sections. The sections were joined with aid of a fixture to achieve dimensional accuracy within 0.8 mm.

Over 40 design errors were revealed from the first SLS prototype. Following redesign by the OEM to eliminate the design errors another SLS prototype was made, which was acceptable. 3DPD then proceeded to make 5 sets of all components by vacuum casting process using a material simulating ABS/PP. Finally, the parts were painted & assembled onto the vehicles for design approval, rigorous engineering tests and validation. The final results achieved were extraordinary & it proved 3dpd's brilliance in prototyping sector.