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ExOne develops 3D Printed Copper Windings for Electric Drive Systems

3D printed copper windings
Above: ExOne develops 3D printed copper windings/Image Source: ExOne

The ExOne Company, the global leader in industrial sand and metal 3D printers using binder jetting technology, is collaborating with Tennessee-based startup Maxxwell Motors on development of a 3D printed copper windings for electric drive systems. It has a unique design and will be used for its innovative axial flux electric motors, applicable in electric cars as well as a range of other heavy-duty vehicles and industrial devices.

Founded in 2018 based on a vision of improving how electric motors are designed and manufactured, without rare-earth magnets, Maxxwell holds nine U.S and global patents and has launched two products, a 10 kW air-cooled motor generator and a 150 kW liquid-cooled motor.

3D Printed Copper Windings

Optimized copper windings and rotors in electric motors are among the factors enabling the automotive industry’s transition to hybrid and pure electric power vehicles. However, current methods of manufacturing the windings are costly, inefficient, and limit designs in a way that also limits their performance.

ExOne and Maxxwell have successfully proved out a new concept for binder jet 3D printing a high-efficiency design in copper that eliminates many of the challenges that come with traditional manufacturing. Additional development and testing are now underway.

According to Michael Paritee, CEO of Maxxwell Motors, “When we 3D print it, a lot of the challenges just go away, and we can actually improve the performance of the motor itself. At Maxxwell, we’re taking the most sustainable, and additive manufacturing, point of view as possible to truly improve efficiency, reduce waste and optimize performance.”

“The ExOne team is proud to work with both traditional manufacturers and visionary startups working to change the world with innovative concepts such as these. As the automotive industry enters a new era of electrification, our world-class team of engineers stands ready to help solve some of the most pressing challenges with our binder jet 3D printing technology.”

– John Hartner, ExOne’s CEO

Ultimately, Maxxwell’s goal is to binder jet 3D print winding assemblies as a monolithic piece, eliminating the need for coil wrapping, bending, tooling, and welding of individual parts together.

When produced with binder jet 3D printing, the final part would require less manufacturing steps and energy utilization, as well as less material waste to produce – also resulting in components that are more efficient and deliver improved performance. What’s more, high-speed binder jetting is relatively affordable.


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