In a previous blog post, I referenced Davide Sher‘s series on ‘How major automakers use AM for production today‘, to show you that AM is happening today and that you might even already have 3D printed car parts in your vehicle. Today’s blog post shows examples from the last 4 articles of Sher’s series. If you would like to know more, 3D Printing Network made a nice e-book of the Automotive AM focus and can be downloaded for free.
A series production with 3D printed roof brackets for the BMW i8 Roadster. The top image shows a 3D printed window guide rail for the same car. According to the company, the rail took just five days to develop and was integrated into series production shortly after. You can find the 3D printed part in the door of the BMW i8 Roadster which allows the window to operate smoothly. Here is a nice video of the 3D printing process. BMW was the first carmaker to 3D print a production run of several thousand metal parts for the BMW i8 Roadster. Quite impressive!
In the article, Sher mentions that Fiat has carried out significant work on AM for tooling and part production through its high-end brands Ferrari and Maserati. An example is a 3D printed turbine exit for the Ferrari SF15T, 3D printed by Renishaw. The challenge was to create a 3D printed part with complex geometries, thin walls, extremely lightweight, without resulting in weak points and fragility, for the duration of one race. In a blog post written by my LEO Lane colleague Aya Bentur, she writes about the Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 team, using 3D printed parts in their sports cars.
The last example of the Automotive AM focus of Sher is from Jaguar. As part of its Destination Zero mission, meaning to make societies safer, healthier and the environment cleaner, the company developed 3D printed gloves for its workers.
Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.