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Volkswagen plans to use new 3D printing process in vehicle production

Volkswagen plans to use new 3D printing process in vehicle production in the years ahead

Volkswagen is pressing ahead with the use of innovative 3D printers in car production. For the first time, the newest process – known as binder jetting – is being used to manufacture components at the company’s main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. Whereas conventional 3D printing uses a laser to build a component layer by layer from metallic powder, the binder jetting process uses an adhesive. The resulting metallic component is then heated and shaped. Using the binder jetting component reduces costs and increases productivity – for example, the components weigh only half as much as those made from sheet steel. Volkswagen is currently the only car maker using this 3D printing technology in the production process. “Despite the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re continuing to work on innovation,” says Christian Vollmer, member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand responsible for Production and Logistics. “Together with our partners, we aim to make 3D printing even more efficient in the years ahead and suitable for production-line use.”

Earlier in 2019 Volkswagen selected HP Metal Jet, the world’s most advanced 3D printing technology for the high volume manufacturing of production-grade metal parts, as the foundation for its strategy to industrialize additive manufacturing with a multi-year design and production roadmap. 

About the author

Aditya Chandavarkar

Aditya Chandavarkar is a established entrepreneur with business interests in manufacturing, innovative technology and consulting. He is the co-founder of CNT Expositions and Services (acronym for Catalysing New Technologies), which was subsequently formed by the acquisition of Inkjet Forum India – a leading knowledge sharing platform for inkjet printing technology founded by him. At Inkjet Forum India, Aditya was single handedly responsible for conceptualizing and organizing conferences and educations programs, in the area of digital textile printing and industrial inkjet.