Use of 3D printed components at BMW jumps 42% annually

The use of 3D printed components at BMW Group is on the rise. Over the last decade alone, the company produced a million parts by this innovative method, and in 2018 output from the company’s Additive Manufacturing Center is expected to reach over 200,000 components — a 42% increase on last year’s total.

Dr. Jens Ertel, director of the BMW Group Additive Manufacturing Center, said: “The use of components made by additive manufacturing in series production of vehicles is increasing particularly strongly at the moment. We are following the development and application of advanced these manufacturing methods very closely indeed, partly through longstanding cooperations with leading manufacturers in the field. At the same time, we are engaging in targeted technology scouting and evaluating innovative production systems.”

Recently the BMW Group fitted its one-millionth 3D printed component in series production: a window guide rail for the BMW i8 Roadster. Thanks to the work of specialists at the Additive Manufacturing Center, the rail took just five days to develop and was integrated into series production in Leipzig shortly after. It is found in the door of the BMW i8 Roadster and allows the window to operate smoothly. The component is manufactured by HP Multi Jet Fusion Technology, a high-speed method enhanced by the BMW Group in conjunction with HP and now in use in the series production of vehicles for the very first time. It can produce up to 100 window guide rails in 24 hours.

The window guide rail is the second 3D printed component in the BMW i8 Roadster. The first was the fixture for the soft-top attachment, which is also produced at the Additive Manufacturing Center in Munich. Made of aluminium alloy, the metal component weighs less than the injection-moulded plastic part that is normally used but is still considerably stiffer. Its importance has already been recognised with an Altair Enlighten Award in the category for Modules this year. The accolade honours lightweight innovations in the field of subsystems and components.

BMW Group www.bmwgroup.com

Company

HP

Related Articles

Technology transfer

Additive manufacturing (AM) system manufacturer and high-end solution provider EOS has entered a three year technical partnership with Williams Grand Prix Engineering and Williams Advanced Engineering.
8 years ago Features

In the name of research

Delcam has added an ABB robot fitted with a Fronius CMT Advanced welding head to the range of manufacturing equipment at its Birmingham site.
8 years ago Features

Medical matters

The metal surface coatings applied to orthopaedic implants allow a 3D interconnected array of pores throughout the coating thickness
8 years ago Features
Most recent Articles

ParkerSteel boosts manufacturing with latest laser cutting technology

In an era where steel supply chains face significant pressures and demand from end users has been tepid, the trend among stockholders has largely been to shy away from investing in new processing machinery that could enhance the value of their offerings. However, ParkerSteel stands as a notable exception.
14 hours ago Features

Ward Hi-Tech: empowering manufacturers with flexible finance and instant inventory

Celebrating its 40th birthday this year, Sheffield-based Ward Hi-Tech is a highly successful business built upon four essential foundations: providing top quality products; offering excellent customer service; maintaining high levels of stock in-house for rapid deliveries (including large capacity machine tools); and being as flexible as is humanly possible with aspects such as machine financing.
15 hours ago Features

Login / Sign up