Just at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the BMW Individual M850i xDrive Coupe Night Sky was stunned. The meteorite chip material used in the cabin and the unique space theme rendered the car mysterious and full. Attractive. In particular, some of the exterior materials made by 3D printing technology can reduce the weight by 30% while achieving more sophisticated patterns, which greatly enhances the driving dynamics and ride comfort, and people have to sigh, BMW The power of 3D printing technology.
In addition to the BMW Individual M850i xDrive Coupe Night Sky, the BMW i8 Convertible, which was launched in China in late March, also uses two 3D printed components, one is a 3D printed metal convertible soft top made of aluminum alloy. The bracket, which is lighter and more rigid than conventional injection molded parts; the other is a window rail that is mounted inside the BMW i8 convertible door to allow smooth window switching. It is reported that with the help of 3D printing technology, the guide rail was completed in just five days, and it was quickly put into mass production at the Leipzig plant.
According to BMW’s publicly available information on production, BMW has produced 1 million parts in this innovative way over the past decade. This has also made it the first automaker to mass produce thousands of metal parts using 3D printing technology.
As a pioneer in the application of 3D printing manufacturing technology in the automotive industry, BMW has been incorporating 3D printing components into the concept car R&D system since 1991. In 2010, BMW first began using plastic and metal-based process technology, initially used to produce smaller batches of parts, such as pump pulleys for DTM vehicles. Then in 2012, this technology was further applied to the manufacture of various laser-sintered parts of the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Currently, 10 types of 3D printed parts are used in the Rolls-Royce brand.
In the year of 2018 alone, the production volume of the BMW Group’s 3D printing production center has exceeded 200,000, an increase of 42% year-on-year. For the BMW Group, 3D printing manufacturing technology will become one of the important milestones in the field of digital production.
In the global market, the BMW Group has also used 3D printing manufacturing technology to produce prototype parts in Spartanburg, USA, Rayong, Thailand and Shenyang, China, and has adopted 3D printing technology for global production. The first step in network localization production. In the future, BMW hopes to integrate this technology into the local production system more fully, and to produce small batches, special models and customizable components under the premise of ensuring cost efficiency, which will be a useful supplement to the existing production system.
What are the advantages of 3D printing technology? 3D printing technology can achieve more precise and detailed patterns, and achieve lightweight under the premise of ensuring high-quality production. Second, it can be quickly formed, which is conducive to mass production. Third, it can meet the individual needs of users.
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