Volkswagen to bring new 3D printing process in vehicle manufacturing

The new technology called Binder Jetting uses adhesive to join components rather than laser technique by conventional 3D printers.Volkswagen has partn
Employees in the middle of quality check of components produced using the binder jetting process in Wolfsburg. (Volkswagen)
Employees in the middle of quality check of components produced using the binder jetting process in Wolfsburg.

Volkswagen is all geared up to use the innovative 3D printers in car production. The automaker, for the first time, will use Binder Jetting – the newest process – to manufacture components at the main plant in Wolfsburg in Germany. This process is different from conventional 3D printers that use a laser to build a component layer by layer from metallic powder as it uses an adhesive. Following this, the metallic components will be heated and given shape.

The company says that currently, it is the only car company that is using Binder Jetting technology in its production process. It also added that this will not only help them to reduce cost but also increase productivity. The components made through this process weigh only half as much as those made from sheet steel. Volkswagen has also partnered with Siemens for upgraded software technology for faster construction of components and expanded its collaboration with HP Inc for this.

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The automaker said that with the first full-scale use of Binder Jetting, they want to acquire important experience and learn how effectively, economically and quickly components can be manufactured with digital support. Member of the board of management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for production and logistics Christian Vollmer said that despite the pandemic, the innovation work is on at Volkswagen. “Together with our partners, we aim to make 3D printing even more efficient in the years ahead and suitable for production-line use," he said.

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The first components made with the Binder Jetting process have gone to Osnabrück for certification. The company has set an aim to produce up to 100,000 components with the help of 3D printing in Wolfsburg each year by 2025. Volkswagen has been using 3D printing for the last 25 years and till now more than one million components have been produced.

First Published Date: 19 Jun 2021, 15:28 PM IST

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