Additive Manufacturing in Automotive Production

News from the 3D printing industry | 5 September 2018

Betatype, a UK based manufacturer, has established how Additive Manufacturing(AM) can outdo the limitations AM had for the automotive industry with regards to productivity and cost-per-part. They metal 3D printed 384 headlights using laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). In this project, they could cut costs by 90% and improve efficiency by over 90%.

“Typically, these new components require comparatively large heatsinks which are often actively cooled,” writes the company. “Betatype recognized that the specific geometry for these metal parts made them ideal for producing with LPBF, which can consolidate multiple manufacturing processes into a single production method.”

The parts suitable for 3D printing must then be properly designed for printing using the required technology. Betatype used a “full stacking” design that reduced the thermal stress in the layer printing process and then printed parts could easily be separated from one another. This is how they could print 384 parts in a single print job, and improve the efficiency considerably.

Through this project, it is being exhibited that the key is

“to choose the most effective manufacturing process for each part produced.”

“Using these high productivity systems, it was possible to realize a 19x gain in productivity over a year of production per system from 7055 parts to 135,168,” Betatype writes. “With an installation of 7 machines running this optimized process, volumes can approach 1 million parts per year—parts that are more functional and more cost-effective.”

For more information about it, please read the original betatype case study or the full article from the 3D printing media.

Find out more on Why 3D Printing Spare Parts is game-changing here.