Tessa’s Weekly Picks – 3D Printed Consolidated Parts


Tessa Blokland  


One of the magical things about AM is that it is possible to consolidate multiple separate parts into one 3D printed part. It goes without saying that the magicians behind this process are true crafts(wo)men in the software they are using to combine these separate parts or even to redesign the whole single part based on the required functionalities of the outcome. From what I have read the advantages are huge: reduction of waste, weight savings, assembly errors are removed and assembly checks are reduced to one inspection, reduction in material costs and production time, improvement in mean time between failures, and often stronger than an original design. You can read more about consolidated parts in a previous blog post, but here are some new examples of 3D printed consolidated parts.

What you see here is a motorsports exhaust. On the left side, you see the 20 or so sheet metal parts used to assemble the exhaust; the right side is the 3D printed consolidated part. According to the website, the design time was reduced from 6 weeks down to 6 days. Impressive, right?

The 3D printed automotive seat bracket is from General Motors. The part used to be assembled from eight pieces into one part. Thanks to AM, this 3D printed consolidated part is 40% lighter and 20% stronger than the original seat bracket.

Instead of 12 individual parts (see top image), this 3d printed consolidated prototype weighs 36% less than the conventionally manufactured component. What you are looking at is a 3D printed wheel carrier with an integrated brake caliper for an FCA sports car. This part is the result of a collaboration between FCA and Fraunhofer IAPT.

I have no idea of how many parts this 3D printed manifold is built, but it looks like it is being built out of several. Ford created this single 3D printed intake manifold for its racing cars.

The last example is a 3D printed rocket engine including a combustion chamber and cooling channels. Thanks to AI, Hyperganic, a German software company, could design this and 3D print the design as one continuous piece.

LEO Lane_Weekly Pick_3D Printed Consolidated Parts

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 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.

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