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VW prepares to use 3D metal printing for mass productionby Justin King
The company expects to slowly increase unit numbers, part sizes and technical requirements, eventually 3D-printing soccer-size parts in volumes of over 100,000 units annually.
Volkswagen has announced plans to use 3D-printed medal parts for mass production.
VW Group's Bugatti brand already revealed a massive eight-piston titanium monobloc brake caliper built via 3D metal printing.
The German automaker has now partnered with HP and GKN Powder Metallurgy to develop methods for creating parts on much higher production volumes.
HP's Metal Jet platform is said to enable mass production, though the trio of companies will start with a small series at first.
"This will be the prerequisite, to be able to produce individualized design parts such as tailgate lettering, special gear knobs or keys with personalized lettering for customers without a great deal of effort," VW says. "The plan is to be able to offer this kind individualization proposition to customers as soon as possible."
The company expects to slowly increase unit numbers, part sizes and technical requirements, eventually building soccer-size parts in quantities over 100,000 units annually.