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  5. The Wörthersee GTI 2017: Apprentices design unique car fast and efficiently using digital technologies

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The Wörthersee GTI 2017: Apprentices design unique car fast and efficiently using digital technologies

  • Wheel rims, paintwork and foils designed on the computer
  • CAD and 3D printing technology allow tailor-made installation of a high-tech sound system in the rear
Apprentices Nils Lennart Fröhlich and Laura Hein (both 21) appraise a component produced by the 3-D printer.

The Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Vocational Training, Hall 103. Screened off by partitions, Volkswagen and Sitech apprentices are completing their work on a unique vehicle: the Wörthersee GTI 2017. The 13 apprentices in six vocations have designed, developed and built the show car in accordance with their ideas using digital technologies. In a few days, they will be presenting it at the 36th GTI meeting, which is to be held at Maria Wörth on Wörthersee from May 24 to 27.

This year, the goalposts are very high because this is the 10th Wörthersee GTI built since 2008 when apprentices from Wolfsburg first appeared with their own GTI creation at the Wörthersee meeting. The Wörthersee GTI 2017 is to crown the first decade of show projects by Vocational Training in Wolfsburg. The debut of the anniversary car is to take place on Wednesday, May 24, on the lake stage of Maria Wörth before an audience of many thousands of GTI fans from across the globe.

Now every day counts and everything must be right first time. The apprentices' GTI is surrounded by decorative trims, door and side moldings and front seats, all ready for installation. "Now our apprentices are really benefiting from their earlier decision to forge ahead with the design of their Wörthersee GTI using digital technologies," says project manager Holger Schülke.

"This way, we were able to take fast and efficient decisions concerning the design of wheel rims, paintwork and foils," explains Eric Miguel Lehrach (21), apprentice motor vehicle mechatronics technician, who is the team spokesperson. "In addition, we kept the design and production process for the special components needed for the sound system and rear-end equipment in our own hands."

Graphic design for wheel rims, paintwork and foils
Yasmine Weinhold (20), apprentice media designer, was responsible for the visualization of the exterior. At her workplace in the MultiMediaCentrum she produced several design series on a graphics tablet. Weinhold's data were put to a variety of uses by the team during the course of the project. Finally, they were even used as an aid to positioning during car wrapping, the application of contrasting foils and decorative strips to the car.

System and high-voltage technicians configure the sound system
Janik Kelm (20) and Götz Riechmann (19), future motor vehicle mechatronics technicians for system and high-voltage technology, used a variety of components to configure a high-tech sound system with Internet connection and crystal-clear sound from 11 loudspeakers and subwoofers with a total rated output of 1,960 Watts.

CAD and 3D printing technology for rear-end equipment
Laura Hein and Alexander von Czacharowski, budding process technicians specializing in plastic and rubber engineering, and Nils Lennart Fröhlich (all 21), future technical product designer, designed side and loudspeaker trims, produced them using 3-D printing and fitted them precisely in the vehicle. On the CAD screen, Fröhlich designed a total of eight individual components using Catia design software. These included all mounts, clips and cable ducts. With his design data, the young man from Brunswick controlled a 3-D printer at the plastics production competence center which printed the individual components layer by layer. The trims were then coated with special grained foils and adapted to the interior of the GTI in terms of appearance and haptics.

The Wörthersee GTI 2017 team consists of five women and eight men aged from 18 to 23 in six different training vocations: motor vehicle mechatronics technicians: team spokesperson Eric Miguel Lehrach (21), Marvin Bömeke (23), Janik Kelm (20), Götz Riechmann (19) and Joshua Schilling (23), vehicle interior fitters: Ronja Schönfisch (18) and Sarah Isabel Schorle (18), vehicle paint technicians: Kevin Hoffmann (22) and Michelle Schmerse (21), media designer: Yasmine Weinhold (20), technical product designer: Nils Lennart Fröhlich (21), process technicians specializing in plastic and rubber engineering: Laura Hein (21) and Alexander von Czacharowski (21).

Sarah Isabel Schorle is training with Sitech in Wolfsburg, Laura Hein with Volkswagen at the Brunswick plant, and all the others at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg. Sitech is the Volkswagen Group company specializing in the development and production of vehicle seats.