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3D Systems selected for BMW’s AM processes

09 Nov 2017

3-year contract includes 3D System's On Demand Manufacturing solutions to enable BMW to accelerate product development.

3D Systems this week announced the award of a new three-year contract with automaker BMW. The contract for the company's On Demand Manufacturing services includes production of 3D-printed parts that the vehicle maker will use for design and functional prototypes.

Using its stereolithography and selective laser sintering technologies as well as providing finishing services such as painting, dying and tumbling, 3D Systems will produce prototype and functional interior and exterior automobile test parts for BMW, as well as tools and fixtures.

These parts will be used during summer and winter rideout testing to verify their designs for proper fit and approach, as well as to understand how the parts function in extreme heat and cold.

3D Systems combines its print technologies with a variety of materials to produce these durable, functional parts. For example, the company uses its DuraForm HST Composite fiberglass-filled plastic to create 3D printed parts to be used in powertrain and under-the-hood applications.

DuraForm HST Composite is a fiber-reinforced engineering plastic with high stiffness and high temperature resistance which makes it ideal for durable prototypes in the automotive industry.

3D Systems has a long-standing relationship with BMW, delivering high-quality parts and lending its engineering expertise to help define manufacturing processes and solutions. In addition to fulfilling a large proportion of BMW's need for rapid prototyping via 3D printing technologies, 3D Systems will also be one of the manufacturer's preferred vendors for prototypes via traditional processes such as urethane casting, injection molding, and CNC.

"3D Systems and BMW have been business partners for many years and we're pleased to expand our relationship through this contract," said Ziad Abou, senior vice president and general manager, Global On Demand Manufacturing Services.

"We have a rich history and depth of knowledge in the Automotive industry. We offer a complete end-to-end solution which not only includes our On Demand Manufacturing Services, but technology, materials and software that enables us to deliver solutions tailored for our customers' workflow."

New laser manufacturing system

Also this week, 3D Systems announced a new next-generation laser additive metal production platform designed to allow manufacturers to easily scale their additive manufacturing and integrate seamlessly into the factory floor.

Based on the company’s established Direct Metal Printing precision metals technology, the DMP 8500 Factory Solution is described by the company as "the first truly scalable, automated and fully integrated metal additive manufacturing solution".

The company's launch statement added, "It features an efficient and fully integrated workflow – from powder in to part out – to produce repeatable, high-quality parts with a lower total cost of operation."

With its large diameter build size, able to produce metal parts up to 500 mm x 500 mm x 500 mm, the DMP 8500 is designed to open up new applications in additive manufacturing for companies in aerospace, industrial and automotive industries.

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