Continental invests in Stratasys FDM know-how for ESD-compliant automotive components

Automotive producer Continental AG has put in a Stratasys Fortus 450mc FDM 3D printer at its Additive Design and Manufacturing (ADaM) Competence Middle in Karben, Germany.

Though well-known for its tyres, Continental additionally produces automotive components and supplies mobility providers by way of its Continental Engineering Providers (CES) division. The corporate cites price effectiveness, excessive throughput, and electrical security as key elements to its manufacturing success, which it reportedly sees in Stratasys’ 3D printing know-how.

Yann Rageul, Head of the Manufacturing Enterprise Unit at Stratasys, states: “Whereas the present world financial local weather continues to current challenges, additive manufacturing is enjoying a key position in delivering much-needed efficiencies for companies throughout the product improvement course of. With increasingly specialised supplies now out there, producers are capable of meet the exacting necessities of demanding conventional manufacturing functions and introduce extra customization advantages into the method consequently.”

The Fortus 450mc 3D printer. Picture through Stratasys.

Additive manufacturing on the Competence Middle

The ADaM Middle presents prospects, inner or in any other case, all kinds of additive samples, mechanical components, and sequence elements fabricated from each metals and thermoplastics. The newly put in Fortus 450mc shall be used to fabricate purposeful prototypes, finish use components, and even jigs and fixtures for Continental’s personal manufacturing line.

The corporate locations nice worth on manufacturing pace and half high quality, stating that the Fortus can “speed up processes and guarantee steady automotive manufacturing”. Elements could be printed in a matter of hours, giving the crew quite a lot of flexibility and effectivity potential, particularly when referring to substitute components that could be tough to supply.

Stefan Kammann, Head of Samples and Mechanical Options at CES, explains: “With the Fortus 450mc, we’re capable of rapidly manufacture substitute manufacturing instruments and components in high-performance thermoplastics that carry out in the identical method we might count on of a historically manufactured equal. Importantly, this avoids prolonged manufacturing instances related to historically produced instruments, and bypasses pricey machine downtime related to the await substitute components.”

Stratasys’ ESD-compliant supplies

A lot of Continental’s 3D printed components will, in some unspecified time in the future, come into contact with digital elements on the manufacturing store ground, which means they’ll want static dissipative properties to forestall electrostatic discharges (ESD). If discharges happen, they will usually harm merchandise and even begin fires within the worst instances. With this in thoughts, the corporate has opted for Stratasys’ ESD-compliant ABS-ESD7 polymer for a few of its tooling functions because it presents the required sturdiness and stability.

Kammann concludes: “We’re capable of 3D print the gluing jig for the automotive show meeting with Stratasys’ ABS-ESD7 materials, which suggests we now have a quick, secure, and ESD-compliant answer in-house that’s customizable. This not solely ensures steady quick manufacturing, but in addition demonstrates how we search for the most effective know-how to resolve the manufacturing challenges with which we’re confronted. In reality, the Fortus is the one 3D printer we now have that’s able to creating ESD-compliant manufacturing components in little or no time.”

Stefan Kammann and an ESD-compliant gluing jig 3D Printed in Stratasys' ABS-ESD7 material. Photo via Stratasys.Stefan Kammann and an ESD-compliant gluing jig 3D Printed in Stratasys’ ABS-ESD7 materials. Picture through Stratasys.

The automotive sector, notably with efficiency automobiles, has seen a pointy rise in additive manufacturing adoption in recent times. Porsche has beforehand labored with machine device producer TRUMPF and automotive components firm MAHLE to 3D print pistons for the engine of its flagship 911 supercar. Additive manufacturing has not solely decreased every piston’s weight by 10%, however has additionally added 30 BHP to the engine’s horsepower.

Elsewhere, automotive start-up Czinger is about to launch its first 3D printed hypercar, the 21C, in 2021. The principally hand-assembled automobile will start at an eye-watering $1.7M and shall be totally avenue authorized within the US. Most of the core elements are to be printed with the corporate’s proprietary aluminum alloys, whereas the exhaust system shall be printed within the notoriously heat-resistant inconel.

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Featured picture reveals Stefan Kammann and an ESD-compliant gluing jig 3D Printed in Stratasys’ ABS-ESD7 materials. Picture through Stratasys.

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