Peugeot car accessories are set to soar to new heights now that the French carmaker is using the technology and a brand new flexible polymer to offer customers a range of accessories for their new 308 compact hatchback. Described as “innovative, modern, technical and revolutionary”, Peugeot’s latest accessories for the 308 are the result of a joint effort between Peugeot, HP, high-performance coatings and composites developer Mäder and additive manufacturing specialists at ERPRO.
The result is a range of specialized accessories including a sunglass holder, a can holder and a phone or card holder specially designed for the new Peugeot 308. Manufactured using the latest HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, the products are not only innovative but also “pleasant to the touch, light, solid and easy to use.” According to the brand, they make a huge contribution to improving vehicle interiors , presenting a new generation of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit – a patented new design that revolutionizes the driver’s cockpit through advanced ergonomics, digital head-up instrument displays and interactivity with touchscreen technology.
According to the brand, this is just one of the first 3D printers to be used at Peugeot, as the company plans to use it for more technical parts in future car models. In addition, as part of the PSA group, which recently merged with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to create Stellantis, Peugeot is now a sister company to 13 other automakers, including Dodge, Jeep and Maserati. We can imagine that the use of additive manufacturing will trickle down to the other brands under the Stellantis umbrella.
For the 3D printed accessories of the new car, Peugeot Design, product and research and development Teams designed them after a detailed analysis of how customers use the storage space in the car. Since conventional materials did not meet the specifications, the colors and materials The Peugeot design department team worked with its partners to develop a more innovative material for this purpose and decided that 3D printing was the best solution for the task.
According to the automaker, additive manufacturing is adapting to the needs of an increasingly demanding and unpredictable market, helping to create custom objects and accessories without the need for expensive molds and manufacturing tooling. Another major advantage of the technology that the team considered is its sustainability.
After selecting 3D printing as the manufacturing technology, the teams decided to use a new flexible, malleable and strong polymer. For this project, they chose Ultrasint, a multi-purpose thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) powder developed by HP and BASF that gives manufacturers the ability to customize plastic parts. TPU has a very high process stability and is one of the highest throughputs for flexible materials in the 3D printing market, making it perfect for series production with HP Jet Fusion 3D printers. In addition, the manufacturing process is short, can be made to measure and the result is an accessory with highly accurate details thanks to very fine molecules.
When the build is complete, the entire bed of powder with the encapsulated parts is sent to a processing station where most of the remaining powder is removed by vacuum suction. The parts are then sandblasted to remove the powder residues before going to the finishing department where they are painted to improve the aesthetics. Corresponding Director of ERPRO, Cyrille Vue took the team two years to fully develop and qualify the accessory. Still, the result is what he describes as an “incredible range of 3D printed accessories that we will be mass producing and using additive manufacturing.”
The elegant and innovative 3D printed accessories are available in the Peugeot Lifestyle Shop in two colours, black and mint green. For example, the 3D-printed phone holder sells for €49.20 ($54) and allows drivers to rest phones or maps in the 308s’ automatic transmission. Similarly, the cup holder half-module allows passengers to set their cans or cups and retails for €33 ($36.25).
With many firsts, the brand was one of the first companies to use HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology to develop a range of vehicle accessories. In addition, the use of TPU in car interiors is a completely new approach that Stellantis has now patented.
Previously, other vehicle manufacturers have released CAD files to help users 3D print add-ons compatible with their cars. For example, in February 2022, Ford released files for 3D printing accessories for its new 2022 Maverick truck, such as under-seat storage and its slotted accessory called the Ford Integrated Tether System (FITS). Previously, Mini Cooper also offered owners of its Cooper hardtops and convertibles the opportunity to customize their vehicles as an aftermarket service using 3D printing technology.
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