Sep 15, 2016 | By Alec

Industrial-grade 3D printing is quickly becoming commonplace in the automotive industry, especially as a highly efficient prototyping tool. Back in June, Ford even adopted Carbon’s revolutionary CLIP UV 3D printing technology with an eye on interior design prototyping. But the automotive industry is also slowly heading towards full-fledged manufacturing through 3D printing, which can make entire production chains more efficient and flexible. With that purpose in mind, French car giant PSA just signed a letter of intent with Divergent 3D. Through this new partnership, Divergent 3D will develop new 3D metal printing processes for PSA production lines.

This is a big deal, as the PSA Group (of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars) is a huge player in the automotive world. Over 2015, their sales and revenue clocked in at €54 billion, and they are especially known as an innovator in the field of autonomous, connected and low-emission vehicles.

Divergent 3D is a Los Angeles-based startup that has been founded by Kevin Czinger. They are completely dedicated to revolutionizing the car manufacturing industry, especially when it comes to environmental impact. To do so, they have developed the Divergent Manufacturing Platform, which transforms the economics and environmental impact of designing and manufacturing complex car structures.

While they sound great on paper, such plans need the backing of a major manufacturer to really take flight. And that is, essentially, what PSA is now doing. This partnership is intended to make production far cheaper and more efficient through the 3D printing of vehicle parts and (eventually) even whole cars. “PSA Group is a powerful, long-term strategic partner for Divergent 3D, enabling us to accelerate the introduction of Divergent’s technology into the global auto market,” Divergent CEO Czinger said of the new deal.

According to Carlos Tavares, PSA's chief executive, Divergent’s platform can have a huge impact on their production chain. “We are very impressed by the promising new opportunities in Divergent 3D's technology. We're convinced that these spectacular advances in 3D printing will help position PSA Group as a leader in automobile manufacturing,” he said. “This has the potential to dramatically scale down the size and scope of our manufacturing footprint, reduce overall vehicle weight and build complexity, while also giving us almost limitless flexibility in design output. We are talking about a radical change for our industry.”

Carlos Tavares.

This move also aligns with Tavares’ organizational goals and changes, which are all aimed at innovation, cost reduction and the outsourcing development. Among others, they recently also started working with Altran, which has a research center in Morocco. At the same time, the PSA Group is working hard to becoming a global leader in efficient automotive manufacturing. PSA has already bought an unspecified stake in Divergent, though no dates or financial terms have been disclosed. It is expected that Divergent will begin by 3D printing prototypes, most likely at PSA’s Velizy research center in Paris. Once a solid foundation is laid, assembly lines and eventually even the overall vehicle structures are on the agenda.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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