EOS, a leading provider of responsible manufacturing solutions through industrial 3D printing technology, and Sauber Technologies, the company dedicated to bringing Sauber’s drive for cutting-edge innovation and Formula One mindset to businesses worldwide, signed a three-year additive manufacturing technology partnership last weekend at the Formula (F1) Grand Prix in Barcelona, Spain.
The partnership will initially focus on the continuous optimization and manufacturing of aerodynamic spoiler designs, end-use parts for race cars and production aids. Both companies are bringing their respective longstanding industry expertise to the partnership – with the aim of jointly expanding the use of AM in motorsports and beyond.
Additive Manufacturing Technology Partnership
As innovation cycles in F1 are extremely short, variants of a part must be adjusted and manufactured quickly. The level of competition is high. Simultaneously, the racing industry demands innovative, often unusual designs that adhere to the guiding principles of faster, lighter – and always safer.
In this case, additive manufacturing is an ideal enabler of rapid development and shorter production cycles. The technology enables the simplified implementation of lightweight structures as well as functional integration, while also drastically reducing lead time and allowing for faster iterations.
“We see AM applications in F1 for both prototyping and serial production where reproducible part quality is key. Together with Sauber we are aiming to set new benchmarks here. With more serial AM applications in F1, automation will be essential too, enabling higher productivity and reduced costs per part. Sauber is the first customer for polymer-based AM, integrating this into its production, including the installation of an EOS P 500 system.”– Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President EMEA at EOS
Speaking on the additive manufacturing technology partnership, Christoph Hansen, COO Sauber Technologies said, “EOS and Sauber share the same passion for application-driven design and the highest quality standards, which we want to offer in motorsports and beyond. EOS’s company culture is a perfect fit for us, which is why we decided to enter this partnership. From a technology perspective, we co-operate with EOS because its ecosystem of partners and sister companies not only enables the end-to-end solutions we need, including automation, but provides us with highly custom solutions via AMCM (Additive Manufacturing Customized Machines).”
EOS P 500 Industrial Scale Additive Manufacturing System
As per the additive manufacturing technology partnership, Sauber will install an EOS P 500 system in 2022, allowing them to scale up applications to serial production in the future, with the option of incorporating automation solutions. They will begin with the Polyamide 12 PA 2200 material. The build rate of the EOS P 500 is twice that of the fastest laser-sintering system currently available in the polymer sector (EOS P 396). It has two powerful 70-watt lasers that deliver precise energy to the powder during material melting. Unlike previous EOS systems, the EOS P 500 heats the material to the optimal processing temperature prior to application, reducing the time required for recoating and exposure.
After production, the interchangeable frame (with the 3D printed part) is optionally preheated and cooled outside the EOS P 500. As a result, a new production process can be initiated just fifteen minutes after a build job is completed. Because the system needs to be cleaned less frequently and serviced only once a year, the EOS P 500’s uptime is up to 75% higher when compared to predecessor systems and competitor models. The system can be seamlessly integrated into existing MES/ERP systems and includes a variety of process monitoring and system integration solutions. This enables industrial-scale quality assurance by evaluating extensive sensor and camera-based measurement data (optical and thermal).
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