The new MAHLE 3D printing center, Prototype Production in just a few days
MAHLE has announced the opening of its new centre for additive manufacturing processes at its headquarters in Stuttgart. In the future, MAHLE will be able to shorten the time it takes to produce prototypes for complex components from several months to just a few days. This will also significantly accelerate the development of climate-neutral drive technologies, for example, for e-mobility. In doing so, MAHLE is strengthening its role as a leading development partner to the automotive industry. The 3D printing centre, which houses the printers, powder preparation module, testing laboratory, and a blasting system for finish machining the components, is also used for internal prototype production and customer orders.
“The development of new systems and components has to be much faster today than it was a few years ago, especially when it comes to solutions for sustainable CO2-neutral drive systems. With our new 3D printing centre, MAHLE is once again stepping up the pace in its strategic fields, for example, E-mobility.”
says Michael Frick, Chairman of the MAHLE Management Board.
Dr. Martin Berger, Head of Corporate Research and Advanced Engineering at MAHLE, said: “Processes are also being developed in the new centre that enables 3D printing in industrial series production based on the strict standards of the automotive industry. This opens up completely new possibilities in product development and manufacturing because these processes can be used to produce high-performance components that cannot be manufactured using conventional methods.”
MAHLE points out that it has already proven the performance of parts produced in a joint project with Porsche and Trumpf. High-performance parts such as pistons and charge air coolers for the Porsche 911 GT2 RS super sports car were successfully produced and tested. The main advantages of the process were the elimination of the need for expensive production tools and the ability to create complex structures that could not be produced using conventional methods.
The newly opened 3D printing centre focuses on components from thermal management, mechatronics, and electronics, for which manufacturing processes are developed and qualified for subsequent series production. The materials used are special aluminium and stainless steel alloys that are remarkably resilient, corrosion-resistant, or weight-optimized depending on the intended use.