Volkswagen is pushing ahead with the use of innovative 3D printers in car production.
For the first time, binder jetting is being used to manufacture components at the company’s main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Whereas conventional 3D printing uses a laser to build a component layer by layer from metallic powder, the binder jetting process uses an adhesive. The resulting metallic component is then heated and shaped.
Using the binder jetting component reduces costs and increases productivity – for example, the components weigh only half as much as those made from sheet steel.
Volkswagen is currently the only car maker using this 3D printing technology in the production process. “Despite the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re continuing to work on innovation,” says Christian Vollmer, member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand responsible for Production and Logistics.
“Together with our partners, we aim to make 3D printing even more efficient in the years ahead and suitable for production-line use.”
Volvo Car Group will establish a joint venture with leading Swedish battery company Northvolt to develop and produce more sustainable batteries, tailored to power the next generation of pure electric Volvo and Polestar cars.
As a first step for the 50/50 joint venture, Volvo Car Group and Northvolt aim to set up a research and development centre in Sweden in 2022.