E-Axle Custom 3D Model
Case Study: Building a scale model replica of an E-Axle Model
Table of Contents
Purpose of an Industrial Model
If you were a business wanting to showcase a new product, how would you do it? Would you show your sponsors a powerpoint? What about passing around a picture, or showing a video? These all may fulfill the purpose of providing visuals to your audience, but they may find it difficult to fully envision all aspects of a product from a 2D model. This is where our 3D industrial models come in. 3D Industrial models enable viewers to fully realize a product’s potential, being able to hold it in their hand, see it from a 360° perspective, and is a low-cost, lighter, and safer option to carry around than the actual product.
Allison Transmissions had a similar idea, commissioning us to create their 3D replication of their E-Axle. This longstanding company, originating in 1915, is one of the leading producers of electrical, fuel, and hybrid solutions for heavy-duty vehicular transmissions. Their E-axle is a part of their newest initiative (called eGen Power™) to create electric axles, improving affordability, performance, and making a positive impact on the health of the planet.
Below is a video featured on the Allison Transmissions webpage showcasing the E-Axle in the background. This is one example of how 3D industrial models can aid in the promotion of a product.
What is an E-Axle?
An E-Axle is a vital part of the power system for fully electric or hybrid medium and heavy-duty trucks. The axle controls how energy is stored and transformed into power for the vehicle. It combines the motor, power electronics, and transmission, providing more space and increasing efficiency since everything is compacted into one piece of machinery.
The model was printed with a design for a hollow interior in order to place steel bolts throughout for support. An internal steel armature was included as well to make the model as realistic as possible. The whole project was comprised of 471 pieces and the 3D printing process took over 4,000 hours total to print on over 70 printers. The most difficult aspect of this project was making sure the model looked as realistic as possible. As it was meant to be an exact miniature scaled replica of an actual product, special care was given to position every piece properly and mending any flaw from the printing and assembly process.
The final product was finished using textured hard coating and white automotive grade paint according to the company’s specifications. The overall size of the E-axle model is 60” L X proportional height and width (¾ scale), weighing a total of 200 lbs – a small fraction of the weight of the actual product.