Metallic 3D printing on the road to automotive series production

April 17, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Metallic 3D printing for automotive production
In order to pave the way for additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing) into series production in the automotive industry, a research network of large companies, SMEs and research institutions has joined forces. The project is coordinated by the BMW Group, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and RWTH Aachen University support the project with their experience in the field of additive manufacturing technologies.

The aim of the IDAM research project is the industrialization and digitization of additive manufacturing (AM) for automotive series processes. IDAM will make it possible to replace cost-intensive and time-consuming processes such as the production of moulds and to meet the demand for product individualization without additional effort.

Within the project, the implementation of metallic 3D printing takes place at two locations: the Additive Manufacturing Center of the BMW Group in Munich, and the Bonn plant of the automotive supplier GKN Powder Metallurgy. There, the IDAM team qualifies the AM technology for the specific requirements in common parts production as well as individual and spare parts production on the basis of concrete components. The targeted quantities highlight the signal character of the joint project. In the future, the AM production lines should make it possible to produce at least 50,000 components per year in common parts production and over 10,000 individual and spare parts under the highest quality and cost pressure.

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