Automotive Additive Manufacturing
Three different stories highlight the advance of AM in automotive. The first is a brake caliper manufactured from titanium (Ti) by Bugatti. The stronger Ti part replaces aluminum but is 40% lighter. It takes 45 hours to print the caliper, requiring 2,213 layers of titanium. All of this is followed by a stress-relieving heat treatment.
Audi is using metal AM for components as well as prototypes and spare parts. The company has found that AM-produced parts have no material-property disadvantages, and even highly stressed parts can be printed.
BMW Group is investing over $12 million in an Additive Manufacturing Campus, which will also act as an interdisciplinary training and project area. Located in an existing building, it will accommodate up to 80 associates and over 30 industrial systems for metals and plastics. It is scheduled to go on stream in early 2019.