Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

On November 16th 2020, Fraunhofer IAPT of Hamburg, Germany announced that they had developed a 3D printed car suspension system in collaboration with multinational corporation Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). (Fraunhofer IAPT is short for the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Additive Manufacturing Technologies, which is part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft research organisation.) Specifically, Fraunhofer IAPT described the system as “a 3D-printed wheel carrier with an integrated brake caliper,” declaring that the system was the first of its kind in the world. In addition, they proclaimed that their prototype version of it weighed 36% less than the total weight of the original system’s 12 constituent parts; would last longer, and would perform better in noise, vibration and harshness tests.

FCA’s use of 3D printing traces back at least as far as April 2015, where they used specially made 3D printed transparent components to better measure the flow of oil through axels. At the time, FCA argued that conventional means of doing this entailed observing the fluid’s movement through windows cut out of the relevant parts, but the motion of the oil would cause it to turn milky and obstruct the view.

Other examples of 3D printing’s involvement in car manufacturing include a partly 3D printed customizable car seat from Porsche of Stuttgart, and the Individual M850i Night Sky car from BMW of Munich, which featured several 3D parts. Introduced to coincide with the 2019 Quadrantid meteor shower, BMW also boasted that some parts of the car’s cabin were decorated with meteoric rock.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

Disclaimer: Featured image of “St. Louis Motor Carriage Company factory. 1211-13 North Vandeventer Avenue” is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1925.