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3D Printing Saves the Day (and Dollars) at Oshawa Assembly

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Oshawa Assembly engineers are making waves with their innovative approach to problem-solving and cost savings by 3D printing parts.

Oshawa Assembly's Body Shop was disrupted when a critical welding robot unexpectedly broke down. The culprit? A faulty Dress Verification Gauge (DVG) puck*, a seemingly simple component that triggered a costly shutdown. Replacing all 467 DVG pucks across the Body Shop, each costing a staggering $250, was a logistical and financial nightmare.

Enter the Manufacturing Dream Team:
Welding and Joining Engineer, John Li, wasn't about to accept defeat. He assembled a team: Archie Argiriou, the Senior Mechanical Engineer with a mind for invention, Alan Sikorski, the CAD whiz who could translate ideas into blueprints, and Mark Orchard, the Oshawa Elevation Centre CNC Machinist who wielded the 3D printer.

The Million-Dollar Idea:
Archie’s plan: 3D print the DVG puck themselves. Alan then crafted the digital design, and Mark brought it to life on the printer. The result? A perfect replica, functionally identical to the $250 version, but with a production cost of just $1!

From Breakdown to Breakthrough:
The 3D-printed DVG puck wasn't just a fix; it was a revolution. It flawlessly addressed the welding issue, saving millions in replacement costs. The team wasted no time implementing the solution in tailgate welding cells, with plans to expand to other areas soon.

The Power of Collaboration:
This story isn't just about saving money; it's about the power of collaboration and teamwork. A crisis became a springboard for innovation, proving that sometimes solutions come from the most unexpected places.

The future of manufacturing is bright thanks to the collaborative spirit and outside-the-box thinking exemplified by the Oshawa Assembly team!

*DVG is an insulated puck with a hole in the middle that checks for weld gun alignment by firing a current through the center hole. If there is no current feedback from the robot, the robot will indicate a problem and create an alert, causing a breakdown.


Alan Sikorski, CAD Engineer, scanning the original DVG puck to create a 3D model.

Mark Orchard, Machinist – CNC, working with the 3D printer.

Purple DVG puck on the left is the original version costing $250 each. The 3D-printed DVG puck on the right is the new version costing only $1!

From left to right: Alan Sikorski, John Li, Archie Argiriou.

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