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Quick production of automotive components with ultra-rapid 3D printing - R3D

R3D, a design office specializing in additive manufacturing, produces components for French Gendarmerie cars with Nexa 3D technology

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Counting more than 25 years of experience in automotive and aerospace engineering, Patrick Gaspard knows how vehicles work. After years in the industry, he founded R3D, a company specialized in engineering and 3D printing. R3D develops the whole project, from the prototype to mass production, using a fleet of industrial 3D printers. In 2020, Patrick Gaspard was able to watch more closely the brand Nexa3D and decided to buy a 3D printer NXE 400 Pro. 

The challenge

Production of more than 7000 customized components

At the start of 2021, the automotive group Stellantis held a contract auction for the design and production of spare parts for 400 cars used by the French police. The goal was to provide nine brackets for the model Peugeot 3008 Gendarmerie, specific to fix several expensive radio and computer components safely. The parts needed to be stiff enough to fix heavy electronic components in the interior and in the trunk of the car, even in extreme driving conditions. The parts also had to pass the test of time and the stress due to the exposure to sun light and changes in temperature. 

Moreover the supplier had only three months to deliver 7200 components (18 parts for each of the 400 vehicles). This is not a lot of time considering that these parts had to be designed from scratch. 

 “We have only one NXE 400 Pro a tour disposal, but we were able to complete the production of 7200 c0mponents within the 3-month deadline. It’s a project that wouldn’t have been possible to complete with any other 3D printer I have ever used”. Patrick Gaspard, director of R3D 

The solution

From the prototype to the quick production of medium volumes

“With NXE 400 Pro I knew we had the tool we needed”, sais Patrick Gaspard.Thanks to his competence in the automotive industry, he was able to share his vision for the project.è stato in grado di far comprendere facilmente il suo punto di vista He worked with the firm and the supplier of the cars for the design, printing some prototypes to satisfy the request. Tests have been carried out with different resins, but the final choice wasxMODEL 2505 of Nexa3D, not only for its resistance confirmed by thorough tests of resistance and lasting capabilities but also due to its light color that makes the piece more visible in the truck of the car. 

Once the testing phase ended, R3D was able to start the production immediately, since both the prototypes and the final product are the result of the same 3D printing process, the same design and materials. 

“The option to rapidly shift between prototyping and production without working on expensive tooling was a great advantage. In order to manage a 24-hour production, R3D reorganized the working hours creating a night shift allowing the removal of the finished components from the printer and the start of the new printing job. 

We had only one NXE 400 Pro, but we but we were able to complete the production of 7200 c0mponents within the 3-month deadline. It’s a project that wouldn’t have been possible to complete with any other 3D printer I have ever used”, says Patrick Gaspard. The answer was so positive that two new orders for 12.600 components for 700 new vehicles were completed and delivered. In a year, R3D used only its NXE 400 Pro to produce 18.000 parts for 1000 cars of the French police. More than a year has passed since the components were delivered and the customer is satisfied because the parts are still in use. 

  • 1

    1000 equipped vehicles

  • 2

    18 000 printed components

  • 3

    330 litres of resin

The collaboration with 3DZ

The team 3DZ France supported R3D in the definition of the strategy and in the choice of the solutions that were the best to answer to the request. “3DZ listened and analyzed our needs to satisfy our different requirements: material, finishing, volume of production, dimension of the pieces, etc, then they offered the technological solution for additive production that could satisfy all these requirements, starting from the personalization, the installation of the machine on site and the training. “3DZ has the answer for the producers” says Patrick Gaspard. 

NXE 400

R3D wanted to diversify its service offering with SLA technology and associated material properties to suit customer needs.
The strategy was quickly oriented towards mass production applications, for which the NXE 400 is perfectly suited. Other differentiating criteria for parts produced with the NXE 400 include its smooth appearance, which eliminates the need for post-processing steps and saves real time.

3DZ, un socio experto

3DZ is an official reseller of NEXA3D printers, as well as the best brands of 3D printers and software. With 10 years’ experience in the sector, and over 2,700 printers installed, we offer a technical support service throughout all countries where we are present. 3DZ helps companies introduce 3D into their production processes. Want to find out more? Contact us today!

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