Metal sheets forming with robots

In my book I wrote about Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology (F3T) solution. Ford uses it for rapid prototyping in sheet metal. It is a fast and cost-effective way for the production of single elements of the car body for future models.

Photo: Nissan

Nissan decided to use the same technology for some other purpose. Instead of building futuristic vehicles, using this kind of forming to reproduce old parts. Thus, all owners of old Skyline GT-R cars should be able to order original body panels supplied by Nissan.

Forming without press dies

Normally for produce body panel, there is a required a whole press line. Each press is equipped with dies which are bending a little a metal sheet in consecutive presses till panel will reach a final shape. Production of a single press die is very expensive and time-consuming. Also a changeover requires a lot of time. Because of that production of body panels is cost-effective only in mass production.

Cost-effective production

Spare parts for very old cars are heavily available on the market because there is no easy way to make them at affordable price. But this is no longer true for Nissan old cars. They could be produced without a problem using two side forming (no stamping dies needed!). Only CAD data is required to produce any, body panel. If a car is really old and digital model of its parts is unavailable it can be simple 3D scanned.

Below you will find a paper with explanation of this technology:

Still not enough? Read more about it here

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