Industrial metal Additive Manufacturing company Delva, based in Hämeenlinna, Finland, has collaborated with Snowsus Ltd, Oulu, Finland, a snowmobile solutions company, to produce a newly developed and patented snowmobile suspension system using metal Additive Manufacturing.
Snowsus states that it recognised the potential of metal Additive Manufacturing as a solution to lighten the snowmobiles suspension, and selected Delva as its collaborative partner for the project.
“We chose Delva because the company’s experts in metal printing are of a high level,” commented Timo Kronqvist, Snowsus CEO and board member. “In addition, Delva has the widest range of materials at its disposal so that we can test different materials at different stages of the project.”
“The material chosen for the component in the first phase of the project was tool steel MS1, a strong and relatively inexpensive material that, in this case, provided the basis for evaluating the functionality of the solution and is also easy to weld to other structures” continued Kronqvist. “In the next phase, it will be possible to lighten the solution with other materials such as titanium. By exploiting the strength properties of titanium, we can build the solution cost-effectively and reduce the mass of suspension even further.”
Markku Lindqvist, Technical Director at Delva explained that Additive Manufacturing can offer new opportunities for material selection, stating, “When choosing materials, it is worth breaking away from the familiar and exploring the alternatives that printing offers. Let’s start with the purpose and the goal and choose the material based on that. The purpose and objectives may differ at different stages of a development project, as in the case of Snowsus. We can help your company with its considerations.”
“We at Delva offer exactly the partnership the customer needs,” Lindqvist continued. “The customer has the best knowledge of the industry, its solutions and the company’s vision, and the experience of the processes. These are the core competencies of each company.”
“In the design of 3D printed parts, on the other hand, specific know-how is needed to take advantage of the laws of 3D printing on the one hand and to take account of the limitations on the other. Printing and materials are strongly interlinked areas of expertise, requiring both skill and experience. Each material has characteristics that must be considered to achieve a successful result. In addition, a deep knowledge of simulation, optimisation, calculation, post-processing, etc., is required. This is where we offer our support,” Lindqvist concluded.