Utilizing the innovative 3D printing technology of Volkswagen Group, Audi has recently created a half-scale model of its 1936 Auto Union Typ C Grand Prix sports car. This car is designed to showcase the potential of metal printing technology in the manufacture of intricate components.
The Silver Arrow model Auto Union Typ C comes with metallic parts printed using laser melted layers of metallic powder. The grains in this powder are only 15 to 40 thousandths of a millimeter, or approximately half of a human hair’s diameter.
This enables the creation of complex steel and aluminum components that could not be created using standard techniques. Also, components printed using this method are denser than those made using hot forming or die casting. At the moment, the automaker’s metal printing process can be used to create different shapes and objects up to 240 mm long and 200 mm high.
Audi is not the only automaker keen on utilizing 3D-printed components in its cars. In fact, Local Motors is mulling the production of a car that is nearly 75 percent 3D printed, while pergent Microfactories targets to clean up the automotive production process by pairing a 700 hp bi-fuel engine with an aluminum chassis that has 3D printed nodes.
In a statement, Head of Toolmaking at the Volkswagen Group, Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, revealed that the goal of the automaker is to utilize metal printers in the series production process.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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