3D printing speeds time-to-market for electric motors

July 20, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
3D printing speeds time-to-market for electroc motors
Using a novel 3D printing process, four founders of a spin-off of research transfer "Additive Drives" at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg plan to increase the performance and efficiency of electric machines. Their main focus is on the copper coil. In future, this is to be transferred directly from the development data to additive production, thus significantly slashing development and test time.

The tasks of future electric drives, whether in industry or traffic, place high demands on the individual components. Classical manufacturing processes for electric motors quickly reach their limits here. Manufacturing the copper coils using 3D printing solves this problem, says Philipp Arnold, one of the four founders of Additive Drives. The operationally optimal geometry of the additive components enables a performance increase of up to 45 percent," says Arnold. Together with Axel Helm, Dr. Jakob Jung and Lasse Berling, he intends to establish the additive production of copper coils, the main component of every electric motor, on the market within the next year and further develop the technology.

The traditional production of prototypes for electric motors takes up to seven months. The reason why this takes such a long time is complex winding tools, which must first be manufactured and set up. In contrast, the 3D printing process for copper does not require any additional tools and reduces the production time to a few days. This enables significantly faster test cycles and market-readiness processes. In cooperation with a manufacturing network, complete electric motors are thus produced in a short time.

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