Approximately fifty guests and BMW i8 drivers visited APWorks, Taufkirchen, Germany, in late March, 2017, for an overview of the Airbus subsidiary and demonstrations of some of the innovations achieved using metal Additive Manufacturing.
The event opened with a presentation on the possibilities of metal AM by Joachim Zettler, CEO of APWorks. Zettler’s overview introduced applications from industries such as aerospace, medical technology, mechanical engineering, tooling and Formula 1 and illustrated how Additive Manufacturing can reduce lead time and costs for the motorsports industry. The overview also demonstrated how individual and lightweight parts for compact racing car chassis can be designed and produced using metal AM – wherein structural components are printed from Scalmalloy® and thermally loaded parts from titanium.
Marcus Pluntke, Product Manager at BMW i8, commented, “Although I am from the automotive industry, I did not know that the motorsports industry and especially Formula 1 is already using that many metal 3D printed parts. The possibilities 3D printing offers are impressive.”
Later, Dushan Pamunuwa, an member of APWorks’ engineering team, explained how bionic optimisation works by referring to the example of the Light Rider, the world’s first additively manufactured motorcycle prototype. “It is all about developing parts that are extremely high performing and durable, but require as little material as necessary,” Pamunuwa stated.
Dr Matthias Asdonk, APWorks COO, led visitors on a guided tour of the APWorks manufacturing hall, where they viewed working machines from EOS and Additive Industries. “Our competitive advantage is that we not only print parts but also have a lot of know-how in printing processes and materials. We consider the printing process while optimising the parts,” Asdonk explained.