America’s Divergent helping bring 3D-printed metal parts to cars
Divergent 3D, the company that in 2015 unveiled what it claimed to be a 3D-printed supercar, has partnered with French auto giant PSA Group to introduce 3D-printed metal components in mass-produced cars.
Divergent is a startup based in Los Angeles that has developed a proprietary “software-hardware platform” that can efficiently produce complex metal components using 3D printing.
PSA Group, the maker of Peugeot, DS and Citroën cars, has signed a letter of intent targeting multiple joint development projects with Divergent. Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] is also thought to be looking into Divergent’s technology.
The main benefit is said to be a smaller, more streamlined manufacturing process, as complex parts that currently require multiple elements produced separately can now be formed all in the one process. According to PSA and Divergent, 3D printing will also lead to vehicle structures that are lighter, safer and more cost-effective to produce than current solutions.
“We are very impressed by the promising new opportunities in Divergent 3D’s technology,” PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement. “This has the potential to dramatically scale down the size and scope of our manufacturing footprint, reduce overall vehicle weight and build complexity, while also giving us almost limitless flexibility in design output.”
Tavares also stated that the introduction of 3D printing in the mass-production of vehicles represented a “radical” change for the industry. Niche manufacturers have already been using 3D printing for cars for several years, the most famous being Local Motors. Koenigsegg also uses 3D printing for the titanium exhaust system used on its hypercars.