Automotive AM

Tri-Tech 3D delivers new Stratasys NEO800 system to HPL

HPL previously outsourced its AM part production, but can now use its in-house, large-format stereolithography system to improve part finish and reliability

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To improve the quality of bespoke, low-volume parts for the motoring industry, Tri-Tech 3D, the UK provider of Stratasys, One-Click Metal, and XJet 3D printing solutions, recently supplied HPL, the innovative engineering solutions provider, with a large-format stereolithography additive manufacturing system that can produce high-quality prototype parts with low variability. The company, which previously outsourced its AM part production, can now use its Stratasys NEO800 SL system to shorten lead times while improving part finish and reliability.

HPL is an engineering company that specializes in manufacturing bespoke show cars and for the motor industry. Its clients include Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover, and McLaren – with the company producing prototypes and concepts as well as various aesthetics before they enter full-scale production. Previously, the company was outsourcing its AM, using a third party to produce paneling, switch packs, headlight and screen bezels, and other vehicle components. However, outsourcing introduced added costs and potential delays.

Tri-Tech 3D supplied HPL with the Stratasys NEO800 SL system. It has a large build area of 800 x 800 x 600mm, and a 2-Watt variable beam laser with dynamic and variable beam size options. It combines high laser power with advanced control to increase print speed and throughput and deliver highly accurate parts with superior surface quality. It is also an open-resin system and is compatible with all 355 nm SL resins – allowing for freedom of material selection.

Tri-Tech 3D delivers new Stratasys NEO800 stereolithography system to HPL, which previously outsourced its AM part production.
The NEO800 system. Stratasys acquired RPS back in 2021, and renamed the systems.

“Following the stereolithography boom in the 1990s, automotive firms began to use SL 3D printing to compliment traditional clay modeling to achieve highly accurate and detailed prototypes,” said Joe Godfrey, 3D print specialist at Tri-Tech 3D. “Though it has a large manufacturing capability and team, HPL previously relied on a third-party bureau to deliver critical automotive parts in the AM area, which was difficult when there were tight deadlines to meet.”

“By bringing the Stratasys NEO800 on board, the company can now build high-quality, reliable prototypes, large-scale parts, and general bodywork, from the comfort of its own facility,” continued Godfrey. “It can also keep its product IP in-house and manage its workflow more closely.”

“So far, we’ve mainly been using the NEO800 for automotive prototypes, tooling, and concept parts, but we’ve also increasingly moved into the aero, military, and entertainment sectors,” said Tom Spicer, sales manager at HPL. “We’ve been using 3D printed parts to produce plane seat parts, and we’re now even quoting on a full-sized engine. The installation was very smooth, and we really appreciate the ongoing support we’ve had from Joe and the Tri-Tech 3D team.”

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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