Shifting gear into 3D print mode: How Paravan cut production costs by 75% with the BigRep ONE
In recent years, the benefits of using 3D printing technology are making headlines around the world. Some industries are using this technology to increase their mass production while some industries are innovating and customizing their products that can suit the individual needs of the customers.
One such company is Paravan GmbH. They are the leader in developing and supplying highly customized individual handicapped accessible vehicle solutions. Paravan’s innovation is helping disabled people since 2005 as part of a wider mobility concept based around modifying vehicles, lifts, cartridge lifts, and ramp systems.
Paravan provides specific solutions that adapt to your medical condition. They have the product range that is specifically tailored to individual needs, like the evolutionary power wheelchair, the right docking station, the powerful lifting system, the flexible seat collection, and the “Space-Drive” digital steering and braking system. The complete mobility package makes Paravan unique throughout the world and the Number one company for people with restricted mobility.
3D Printing for Accessibility
“With the BigRep ONE, we can quickly and inexpensively print complex components that are either impossible or very difficult to produce by machine,” said Mario Kütt, Head of Mechanical Construction at Paravan. “Now we print a component that we had previously milled, thereby saving around 75% of the costs.”
The company uses BigRep One 3D Printer to produce prototypes and components for its road-approved, safety-related industrial applications, including its prototype for a revolutionary new steering mechanism. This Paravan steering wheel is electronic, in contradiction to the steering mechanism of most cars which is connected to the steering column directly.
“Together with a 3D scanner our construction engineers work with [the BigRep 3D printer] daily,” said Paravan’s Alexander Nerz. “Of course, it’s great to be able to quickly and efficiently build designs overnight. To be able to install the piece into the customer’s vehicle the very next day. It’s a really great tool.”
The use of 3D printing technology for Paravan GmbH was a game-changer. The company replaced expensive and long lead-time machinery with BigRep One 3D Printer to produce prototypes faster and in a cost-efficient manner. Since Paravan deals in the customized vehicle business, the ability to perform fast prototyping on a large scale is crucial. 3D Printing Technology has provided flexibility to the company’s engineers to design functional parts specific to a user’s needs and often produce a printed part within one day.
3D printing technology enables Paravan to continue creating new products, for example, Paravan has been developing custom grips that enable drivers to keep a more constant hold on the gear stick or steering mechanism. This system particularly helps the customers who have trouble grasping the controls with the hands.
Paravan takes a mold of the customer’s handgrip and creates a custom hand grip using a flexible material. Using a 3D scanner, the company converts a 3D scan of the final model into a CAD file. After refining the design, they are ready to print the prototype on the BigRep ONE 3D Printer
The Right Material for Innovation
As.the printed parts are occasionally placed into the custom vehicle the post-processing is the crucial stage for the Paravan’s process. “Currently we are only using PRO HT filament for production,” said Mr. Kütt. “Mainly for its high-temperature resistance, which is necessary for the vehicles, especially in summer.”
As Paravan carries on innovating within the automotive industry, the printing technology of BigRep will help the company explore the potential of autonomous driving.
The recent advances in additive manufacturing, allowing for newer designs, reduced lead times, and decreased costs, are already paving the way for novel ways of conceiving and producing motor vehicles, particularly in Paravan’s case, life-changing products and services to customers.