3D printing is a process that is quickly becoming a big part of vehicle manufacturing, however until now it has generally been plastic components that have been produced.
Now Renault Trucks is looking at 3D metal printing engine components.
The French truck manufacturer has been testing the printed components inside one of their Euro 6 engines and say they are impressed by how the parts have performed.
Benefits of 3D Metal Printing Components include:
- Optimization of the sizing of parts
- Reduction in the number of assembly operations needed
- Reduction in the number of components needed in an engine by up to 25%
- Reduction in physical size/weight of the engine to allow for greater load carrying ability and better fuel economy
Renault Trucks used 3D metal printing to produce the engines rocker arms and camshaft bearing caps and Damien Lemasson, project manager at Renault Trucks, says the components have held up well under testing.
“The aim of this project is to demonstrate the positive impact of metal additive manufacturing on the size and weight of an engine.
This process has enabled us to reduce the weight of a 4-cylinder engine by 120 kg or 25%”,
“The tests we have carried out prove the durability of engine components made using 3D printing. It’s not just cosmetic.
Renault Trucks tell us that in the short-term they will be using 3D metal printng for highly specific applications or small runs, with a view to increasing the use of the technology in coming years.