Friday, 12 Jul 2019 10:38 GMT

Racing ahead with 3D printing

A science-based firm and a supercar manufacturer have come together in a collaboration which aims to showcase the potential of 3D printing for car manufacturing.

The benefits of 3D printing in the manufacture of car tyres has recently been demonstrated by Michelin with its custom-made, airless, long lasting tyres.

Royal DSM and Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) are co-developing 3D printing applications for BAC’s new Mono R model – a higher performance version of BAC’s road legal track-day car - demonstrating benefits such as weight reduction, stronger parts and customisability.

The flexibility of 3D printing also allows original equipment manufacturers to explore more possibilities when designing new parts compared to traditional manufacture.

Already incorporated in the new Mono R is fully customisable 3D printed steering wheel grips and lighter, more durable 3D printed air inlets. Due to the addition of lighter 3D printed components, the overall weight of the car is a record low 560kg.

Keeping cars as light as possible is of paramount importance, and by using 3D printing we not only keep the kilograms down, but also keep sustainability and safety on the up

Sustainability is a hot topic in the industry with many companies looking for ways to become more environmentally friendly.

Last year, BAC became the first car manufacturer remove more carbon dioxide from earth’s atmosphere than it emits, making the firm carbon positive.

It is hoped that the addition of additive manufacturing to its operations will enable the company to cut its emissions further by being able to print on site, removing the need for global shipping.

Commenting on the collaboration, Ian Briggs, design director of BAC says: “Keeping cars as light as possible is of paramount importance, and by using 3D printing we not only keep the kilograms down, but also keep sustainability and safety on the up. We’re excited to see how our work on Mono R can translate to the automotive industry as a whole.”

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