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LEXUS LC500 to use serially 3D printed oil cooler duct

The part is manufactured for Toyota by SOLIZE, as the first authorized supplier of 3D printed parts for the Japanese carmaker

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SOLIZE Corporation in Japan is using its HP Jet Fusion 3D printing capabilities to serially manufacture automatic transmission (AT) oil cooler ducts. These parts are installed by Toyota as an original optional component for the LEXUS LC500.

This is the first case in Japan where a 3D printed product has been adopted as an original optional part by a domestic automobile manufacturer. In addition, SOLIZE was registered as an authorized supplier of Toyota for the first time as a parts manufacturer that supplies 3D printed parts.

LEXUS LC500 is a LEXUS flagship automobile that has been refined with the aim of matching elegant styling and superior driving performance that responds precisely to the driver’s will. The LC500 is equipped with an optional automatic transmission (AT) oil cooler. This is an original part, which efficiently cools the heat of the AT oil, suppressing rising oil temperature during circuit driving. This results in smooth shift changes and a comfortable drive feel. The 3D printed duct was produced for that purpose.

LEXUS LC500 to use serially 3D printed oil cooler ducts manufactured for Toyota by SOLIZE, the first authorized supplier of 3D printed parts

Toyota and SOLIZE have worked together to achieve the first 3D printed mass-produced certified Toyota part. While manufacturing with a 3D printer, SOLIZE has conducted numerous trials of printing condition settings and material verification, that continue to produce sustainable physical properties.

Simultaneously, to be an authorized part supplier of Toyota, SOLIZE built a system of environmental maintenance, process management and human resource training. In addition, to maximize the cost advantage, the company succeeded in optimizing the design and printing layout. While ensuring long-term stable quality as an automobile part, SOLIZE were able to maximize the cost advantage, and by not using molds, they were able to solve the problem of the supply chain, which follows BCP (Business Continuity Plan) protocol.

Management costs and maintaining large quantities of molds are one of the serious issues facing the industry. Industries such as automobile manufacturers and home appliance manufacturers provide repair and replacement parts for a considerable period of time during and after the production period.

LEXUS LC500 to use serially 3D printed oil cooler ducts manufactured for Toyota by SOLIZE, the first authorized supplier of 3D printed parts

Digital manufacturing, which utilizes 3D printing to produce final products, results in the reduction of industrial waste and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the product life cycle. It is also attracting attention from the perspective of LCA (life cycle assessment). In addition to enabling flexible designs and a production system that meets customer demand, it also reduces costs related to mold management, inventory storage and logistics.

The amount of greenhouse gas emissions by using injection molding vs. 3D printing was measured during the production planning. An equal number of oil cooler ducts were compared and the 3D printed models resulted in 37% less greenhouse gas emissions (as calculated by SOLIZE).

SOLIZE will continue to promote digital manufacturing, including the production of final products using 3D printing. The company’s goal is to produce environmentally friendly designs while aiming to expand services and improve customer satisfaction.

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