Last month at the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) USA 2023 trade conference, the IBIS Worldwide announced that it is launching a network called the 3D Printing in Auto Repair Task Force. IBIS Worldwide is, reportedly, the world’s first provider of conferences dedicated to the collision repair industry.
The task force aims to identify opportunities for utilising Additive Manufacturing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of automotive repair. This could include using Additive Manufacturing to create replacement parts, tools, and other components, as well as using the technology to improve the design and manufacturing of existing parts. The task force will then evaluate how additively manufactured parts can be used to assist in the collision and automotive repair sector in a safe and regulated environment by conducting extensive research into cost-effectiveness, speed of production, quality control and safety considerations.
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By collaborating with Additive Manufacturing experts and manufacturers, the task force hopes to identify the best practices to achieve this goal. It will also work with industry associations and regulators to ensure that any new technologies and practices meet OEM safety and regulatory requirements. They will also take on the issue of training, working with automotive based training bodies to help upskill the industry and workforce.
Harold Sears, who has over thirty years of Additive Manufacturing experience, has been named as the Task Force lead. He has experience as a consultant and previously drove Ford’s Additive Manufacturing Division for over two decades.
The 3D Printing in Auto Repair Task Force has shared the following Action Plan:
- Expand the Global Task Force – OEM, Insurance, Training Bodies and experts
- Undertake research and testing on Additive Manufacturing repair parts & performance
- Validate suitable ‘OEM grade‘ plastic material and supplier
- Highlight issues on non-compliant Additive Manufacturing parts suppliers in current market
- Collaborate with industry leading providers in Additive Manufacturing & related technology or supply
- Establish Additive Manufacturing parts supply pilot programmes and measure results (multi-region)
- Work with industry bodies such as IBIS to inform and update the market on developments
- Map out a regulated supply chain for ‘certified’ Additively Manufactured automotive repair parts
- Shape the future of the automotive repair & collision industry using Additive Manufacturing