Leading 3D printer OEM 3D Systems and German automotive R&D center TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) have announced a partnership to develop “first-to-market” additive manufacturing solutions. Both 3D Systems and TMG will merge their respective expertise to create advanced 3D printing technologies and materials catered for high-performance applications in the automotive industry. Aiming to break new ground in motorsport using additive manufacturing, the two firms intend to change automotive engineering, design and production.
Under the terms of the partnership, 3D Systems has been named by TMG as its “Additive Manufacturing Machine Provider of Choice.” A number of 3D Systems’ additive manufacturing machines, and its software, will therefore be integrated into TMG’s production workflow. “TMG’s facility will become a showcase for world-class advanced digital manufacturing,” commented Andreas Schambach, project general manager future production technology, TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH.
“Our team of experts will complement that of 3D Systems’, to develop advanced laser sintering technologies, and a portfolio of materials with improved properties to meet the rigorous demands of motorsport.”
Creating competitive advantage in motorsport using 3D printing
TMG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, the Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer. Carrying out motorsport and R&D activities for its parent company, TMG operates as a high-performance testing and development facility located in Cologne. The 30,000m² space houses cutting-edge facilities for design, production, testing and assembly of components and vehicles. As well as providing specialist development and production services to other Toyota companies, TMG delivers its solutions to external partners and clients. Demonstrating material expertise, TMG has worked with the likes of DSM and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to develop new and advanced material solutions.
Now with its new partnership with 3D Systems, TMG plans to install the Figure 4 Standalone, ProX 800, sPro 60 and sPro 230 3D printers within its facility. Alongside the hardware, TMG will also incorporate 3D Systems’ Geomagic Design X software into its manufacturing ecosystem. Using 3D Systems’ additive manufacturing technology, TMG will develop its “first-to-market” additive manufacturing solutions including new laser sintering technologies and improved automotive materials. In doing so, TMG intends to increase the efficiency of its production processes and create lightweight, high quality production parts for its various motorsports projects in order to gain a competitive advantage.
“I’m inspired by the potential of our collaboration with TOYOTA Motorsport,” stated Herbert Koeck, EVP, global go to market, 3D Systems. “TMG is a known leader in their industry as 3D Systems is in ours. Bringing together our collective expertise, curiosity, and desire to bring solutions to new applications challenges will yield first-to-market technologies that have the power to redefine an industry. I look forward to the innovation we’ll bring to fruition over the course of this partnership.”
As part of the partnership, both TMG and 3D Systems will also appear together at the FIA World Endurance Championship, August 30-September 1 at Silverstone, UK, where 3D Systems’ logo will appear on two TOYOTA GAZOO Racing cars.
3D Systems and automotive
3D Systems has established a deal of experience in providing 3D printing technologies to the automotive industry. Previously, the company helped New Zealand car manufacturer Rodin Cars and title-winning NASCAR team Stewart-Haas Racing accelerate productivity in the automotive sector. Rodin Cars has used the sPro 230, ProX 800, and ProX DMP 320 3D printers to develop tooling with carbon fiber as well as for titanium production parts of exhaust collectors, mufflers, uprights, hubs, and component mount brackets. Stewart-Haas Racing in the other hand has utilized the ProX800 in conjunction with Geomagic Wrap reverse engineering software to improve its scan-to-CAD workflow and produce aerodynamic race car components.
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Featured image shows 3D Systems logo on the spoiler of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing car at the World Endurance Championship. Photo via TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.