Automation
Case Study

"What's Next" Autonomous Trucking Comes to Market

by
AON3D
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Problem

Locomation needed to manufacture short-run, large sensor housing prototypes, fast and affordably, to get their autonomous trucking solution to market.

Founded in 2018, time to market was of the essence. For Locomation, entering a heated and well-funded race for autonomous trucking meant their team of engineers and software developers would have to rapidly iterate and test their designs in real-world situations.

Only needing 4-6 sensor housings manufactured at a time, and measuring over 2ft in the Z-direction, injection molding would have run $50,000-$100,000 and months per iteration. In addition, their sensor housings needed to be high-strength, impact resistant, UV resistant, and able to withstand the heat of summer on the road.

Solution

3D printing full-scale ASA parts on the AON M2+ provided durable, heat resistant, and UV resistant road-worthy functional prototypes.

Implementation

Locomation’s engineers landed additive manufacturing sensor housing prototypes in Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA), a strong and durable material known for its high impact strength and UV resistance. ASA requires an actively heated build chamber to achieve high-strength parts while preventing warping.

Knowing their project and material constraints, the Locomation team found that the AON M2+ High Temperature 3D Printer, which met their size and material processing requirements. Locomation’s engineers eventually opted to split their models to minimize supports and post processing. With minimal sanding and automotive filler primer, parts were ready for paint in days, not months.

In addition to functional prototypes, the AON M2+ has helped Locomation speed to market in a variety of ways including drill guides, manufacturing jigs, and fixtures.

Outcome

Pittsburgh-based Locomation is poised to become the first company to deploy an autonomous trucking technology safely, legally, and routinely in commercial operations at scale across the United States.

The ARC system is Locomation’s first phase product which will allow them to start booking orders and driving revenue-producing miles years ahead of the competition.

Details
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November 9, 2023
March 2, 2023
INTEGR8 2024
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