Feb 21, 2018 | By Benedict

German metal 3D printing company SLM Solutions is working with automaker Audi to make prototypes and spare parts. Components like the water adapter of the little-used Audi W12 engine are being 3D printed on the SLM 280 3D printer.

SLM Solutions, one of the world’s foremost providers of metal additive manufacturing equipment, seems to have put the GE madness of 2016 behind it. Today, the company continues to work with a number of high-profile clients to make metal 3D printed parts in Europe and elsewhere.

One of those clients is car manufacturer Audi, which has been employing SLM Solutions for prototypes and 3D printed spare parts. These include things like a water adapter for Audi’s W12 engine, used in some versions of the A8.

In terms of 3D printing equipment SLM Solutions is using its SLM 280 3D printer (280 x 280 x 365 mm) for these automotive components, taking advantage of the printer’s patented multi-beam technology and powerful 700W lasers.

“The new constructive freedoms provided by this technology are especially interesting,” says Audi’s Harald Eibisch. “Components for prototypes and spare parts requested extremely rarely are better suited for SLM processes than conventional manufacturing procedures thanks to the benefits of free geometric design.”

And the quality of those printed parts? “The load capacity of the components is comparable with parts manufactured using traditional methods,” Eibisch says.

There are other advantages to 3D printing car parts. Because the material properties are fully up to scratch, even highly stressed parts such as pistons can be 3D printed. Furthermore, because the material is applied layer by layer, it is possible to influence the microstructure, in turn changing the mechanical properties in desirable ways.

“According to a rule of thumb, a component is suitable for 3D printing when it is smaller, complex, and not very cost-sensitive,” adds Audi’s Dr. Ruben Heid. “The additive process provides us with plenty of leeway, for example, if a component is to handle additional functions such as cooling or current. The new procedure also provides benefits in weight reduction.”

Audi purchased its own SLM Solutions SLM 280 HL 3D printer back in 2016, and has also worked with German additive manufacturing company EOS.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive