3D printed parts for a car

http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/71751824/the-car-of-the-future-to-use-3d-printed-parts

Car parts could use 3D printing techniques in the future, according to BMW

The car of the future to use 3D printed parts

Car companies will soon make use of 3D printing to manufacture parts, bringing benefits in cost and strength that will improve the affordability and driving character of future vehicles, according to BMW’s head of lightweight design Florian Schek.

While most vehicle manufacturers use the advanced technology during the development and design phase to quickly create prototype parts or models, Schek believes it won’t be long before the technology is transferred into end-consumer production techniques.

He admitted that it is likely to be used on low-volume speciality vehicles first as the time needed to mass-produce parts by 3D printing is not as quick as conventional methods such as casting and forging for metals, or as affordable as plastics. But he said the rapid advances in the technology will ensure its future application is viable.

“We have that already in prototyping,” he told Drive.

“But there is definitely a future for it in mainstream production. It will come.

“I think it will take some time in high-volume production, but it is not that far away for specialist models like the i8. We can do some very interesting things with 3D printing that we cannot do with other methods and it is quite exciting about the benefits, both in terms of design and structure.”

Schek said the benefits of 3D printing structural elements – including major components such as shock absorber towers – could see improvements in weight reductions and rigidity, as the printing process could create components more intricately.

“With 3D printing we can see advantages in being able to build parts with strength where it is needed and not in places where it isn’t, and this will help improve decreasing weight. We can design the part according to the forces that are running through it, this will be a big step forward for some areas,” he told Drive during the launch of the all-new BMW 7-Series, which uses different materials in its skeleton – including steel, aluminium and carbon fibre – to reduce weight and increase overall strength.

“I can also see it eventually improving time to production in some circumstances too, because some components currently need to go through many processes to be ready for assembly whereas with 3D printing it is designed to be a finished product.”

stuff.co.nz

by ANDREW MACLEAN | 06:00, September 6 2015

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3D printing reduce fossilfuels

Here’s a look at how 3D printing can be used to develop cars that run on less fossil fuels.

http://3dprint.com/25431/3d-printing-reduce-fossilfuels/

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If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that there are a lot of people screaming and yelling about oil prices and fossil fuels in general. Some are frightened because they see the prices rising, others because they worry that the supplies will run out leaving us empty handed, and still more are concerned about the very nature of the fossil fuels’ extraction and usage.

Without wandering down the path toward a college course in economics, there has been a shift in attention from the non-negotiable (or nearly so) supply side approach to the problem to an emphasis on the level of demand. When concentrating on supply, concerns arise such as the growing belief that the Saudis don’t have as much oil as has been believed, or the failure to discover any new large oil reserves. When the focus is on the demand side of the oil equation, efforts are aimed at reducing the amount of oil that is used.

That doesn’t always take the form of calls to live off the grid eating only what we can farm and forsaking the glories of the iPod and gas-powered vehicles in favor of drum circles and walking. When companies produce goods that require consumers to purchase fuel, they must respond to the concerns expressed by those customers and create products that are more fuel efficient. It’s less of an energy revolution and more a case of making modest cutbacks. It isn’t quite as exciting, and it may not save us in the long run, but it does possibly prolong the period before crisis.

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One of the ways that companies are responding to consumer distaste for high oil prices is through the creation of more fuel-efficient vehicles. This where 3D printing arrives on the scene. The creation of vehicle components through 3D printing has allowed for a marked decrease in the weight of those components. Less weight means less energy is required to move, et voilà: increased fuel efficiency.

Ford is creating a new model of F-150 that is 300 lbs lighter than the models manufactured previously. Some of the vehicular weight loss is a result of using lighter carbon-fiber materials for a variety of its components. It has been estimated that the amount of lightweight materials integrated into vehicle manufacture will more than double in the coming decade. Part of that rapid weight loss will come from lessons learned from aviation. Manufacturers of today’s airplanes are using 3D printed parts that are created in a single piece to eliminate the added bulk that came from using bolts and screws to hold multiple components together. This shift in manufacturing techniques from machining to 3D printing will allow Airbus to soon produce a plane that is nearly 30% lighter than conventional aircraft.

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With auto manufacturers responding even more directly to consumer desire for more fuel-efficient vehicles, we will definitely see them take a tip from aeronautics’ playbook in the near future.

Now, we just need a print bed large enough to turn me into the ultimate additive manufacturing/soccer mom on the block.

What do you think? Will 3D printing lead the charge to increase fuel efficiency and lightweighting? Let us know your predictions in the 3D Printing and Oil forum thread at the forums at 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | NOVEMBER 18, 2014