20 Nov 2019
US-based vehicle and parts maker expands laser selective melting resources for series production of critical components.formnext 2019, in Frankfurt, Germany, specialist car components maker Divergent Technologies, Gardena, California, has announced that it is purchasing five pre-production selective laser melting manufacturing machines from SLM Solutions, to accelerate the development and time-to-market of Divergent’s vehicle part production systems.
Divergent’s CEO, Kevin Czinger, commented that his company plans to use the next generation machines “to meet production demand for a number of major global carmaker programs.” Divergent’s initial factory deployment will require at least 20 next-generation production machines when commercially available.
Czinger added, “In 2020, we are planning to begin series production of safety-critical structures for OEM customers in the US and Europe, followed by a customer rollout of advanced manufacturing facilities.”
At the manufacturing expo, which runs through Friday, November 22nd, the partners are presenting a front quarter-section of Divergent’s “fully functional and crashworthy hypercar”, which features what the company calls a revolutionary 3D-printed chassis structure.
Additionally, the two companies are together showcasing generatively engineered and validated lightweight suspension and chassis components, including a set of control arms manufactured on the first pre-production instance of the jointly developed machine.
The suspension and chassis structures on display were produced on SLM Solutions’ complete selective laser melting machine suite – including the SLM800, SLM500 and SLM280 systems – and the parts have already successfully endured over 450,000 kilometers of simulated road conditions.
'True series production'
Meddah Hadjar, CEO of SLM Solutions commented, “The next generation machine resulting from this partnership achieves cost productivity enabling the broad use of metal additive manufacturing for true series production.”
“Alignment between the two companies across machines, software, and materials will drive a step change from stand-alone AM machines to fully integrated smart factories,” said Kevin Czinger, Founder and CEO of Divergent.
Since 2017, SLM Solutions and Divergent Technologies have worked under a Joint Development Partnership to build a next generation multi-laser machine that achieves the cost-productivity necessary for volume manufacturing of automotive components, including safety structures, and aerospace parts.
Based on progress in this partnership and strong market demand the partners are now expanding the partnership to accelerate development and commercialization of the next generation machines. In June 2019, Czinger was appointed to the SLM Solutions Supervisory Board to expand and deepen the strategic partnership between the companies.