3i is the future in the field of
prototype design
and individualisation.

3i accelerates the implementation and qualification of ideas.
Traditional thinking models of classical engineering are turned upside down. 3i enables the exchange between manufacturers, developers and customers. Idea, development, application and hardware realization are optimally cross-linked with each other.


Classic process sequences are being changed from experience driven to simulation driven design: the simulation now takes place before the CAD design in a simulation-driven design process. The possibilities of this new creative process were demonstrated for the first time by means of the pioneering front-end module concept "3i-PRINT CADDY Mk1".

3i individualizes the complete vehicle design process


The individualization and personalization of vehicles is becoming increasingly important in the automotive industry. This can be directly "felt" by the user, or can take place in the background without direct user interaction. At the same time, modular adaptable manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing can also use their flexibility to exploit cost potential through secondary saving effects.


Conceptualized customization approaches are:


  • Modularity and adaptability to different vehicle concepts
  • Tolerance compensation for interaction with other subsystems and new aesthetic design options and customization

3i integrates additional features into the design, making the most of the benefits of additive manufacturing.


  • Integrated connectors and air duct directly through the load-carrying structure. This leads to weight and cost reduction, since the total number of components decreases.
  • The integration of various components like switches, flaps, air ducts and components for tolerance compensation.

  • Increased dynamic stiffness due to the reduced number of joints, thus better acoustics due to higher natural frequencies.
  • Package optimization through functional integration (reduction of necessary dimensions and weight reduction) as well as

  • Simplification of the joining and assembly process.

3i is innovative in the field of component design through intelligent use of additive manufacturing processes.


3i demonstrates the potential to revolutionize the automotive development process in conjunction with existing processes. Decisive for the chosen design are the necessary functions and the customer use case. The idea comes first in time, followed by the basic validation in the CAE simulation and then the CAD design. The goal of this reverse thinking process is to shift the current design process to the needs of the 21st century. Thinking in functions requires digital networking and close cooperation between different partners and departments. In this way, components can be designed cheaper, the results are more innovative and the advantages of additive manufacturing processes can be optimally utilized.


  • Agility and flexibility in the development process, as additive processes enable complex, filigree and almost completely flexible geometries
  • Creative freedom through individualization allows completely new approaches, such as functional integration, media storage and thermal management.
  • The lot size 1 is now easily realizable.

  • Changes can be introduced without any problems even late in the development process.

  • The avoidance of costly tools provides a significant cost reduction, especially in prototype construction and
  • The free choice of materials: whether steel, aluminum, titanium or other metals - the principle for the production and the system to be used remains largely the same.