When Carbon released it's M1 3d printer earlier this year, it was supposed to deliver a tool to global industry that would drastically reduce product development cycles and provide in house short run production capability with enhanced speed and precision.
Auto giant Delphi Automotive was among the first to use the M1 and it's CLIP technology, and according to their additive manufacturing manager, the technology seems to be delivering as promised.
”We’re excited to expand our work with the M1 to functional prototyping—something we haven’t been able to do until now—and to explore new manufacturing opportunities as a whole, Jerry Rhineart of Delphi told Engineering.com." It’s all about the materials and mechanical properties that we can achieve with Carbon’s technology. Traditional materials only provided about 50 percent of the mechanical properties we need to produce functional and final parts. We’re currently using the M1 on a project to install a batch of connectors and other electrical components into a 25-car fleet this June for road and validation tests.”
Using Carbon's M1 for end use parts in small batches would be a significant leap for 3d printing technology, as it has primarily been used for prototypes in the past.
On the prototyping end, the auto company says they're saving 6-12 weeks in the development cycle of products that the M1 can create.
Rhineheart made it a point to mention the design freedoms that their new technology provides as well.
“Engineers can start to redesign parts from the ground up without being constrained by the design rules associated with traditional manufacturing technologies. They can consider lighter weight parts using internal mesh structures, single assembly parts that will better address sealing needs and reduce overall complexity of product assembly, and ultimately decrease part and product failure modes because of this new design freedom.”