The Volkswagen brand’s Toolmaking unit is adding a highly advanced 3-D printing center to its facilities in Wolfsburg. With the opening of the center, the unit is bringing the most highly advanced generation of 3-D printers to the Volkswagen Group, which will allow the production of complex vehicle parts in the future. In addition, with the new center, Toolmaking expands its production competences with subsidies from the Innovation Fund II.
The new generation of 3-D printers developed in cooperation with the US manufacturer HP is the most modern within the Volkswagen Group and is based on the binder jetting process, which supplements the previous selective laser melting (SLM) process. Binder jetting not only makes metallic 3-D printing considerably easier but also faster. In future, it will be possible to manufacture production parts in addition to prototypes.
The new printers at the center will now allow the use of other 3-D printing processes such as binder jetting. In this additive process, components are manufactured using a metal powder and a binder applied in layers. In future, the various processes, which each have specific applications, will supplement each other in an ideal way.