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3D printing speeds time-to-market for electric motors

3D printing speeds time-to-market for electric motors

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt



The tasks of future electric drives, whether in industry or traffic, place high demands on the individual components. Classical manufacturing processes for electric motors quickly reach their limits here. Manufacturing the copper coils using 3D printing solves this problem, says Philipp Arnold, one of the four founders of Additive Drives. The operationally optimal geometry of the additive components enables a performance increase of up to 45 percent,” says Arnold. Together with Axel Helm, Dr. Jakob Jung and Lasse Berling, he intends to establish the additive production of copper coils, the main component of every electric motor, on the market within the next year and further develop the technology.

The traditional production of prototypes for electric motors takes up to seven months. The reason why this takes such a long time is complex winding tools, which must first be manufactured and set up. In contrast, the 3D printing process for copper does not require any additional tools and reduces the production time to a few days. This enables significantly faster test cycles and market-readiness processes. In cooperation with a manufacturing network, complete electric motors are thus produced in a short time.


The selective laser melting production process used for this is optimized for the application, as is the copper raw material. “We achieve an electrical conductivity of 100% according to the International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS)”, explains co-founder Axel Helm. As a specialist in additive manufacturing, he has brought the 3D printing process to maturity in his research work. Laser melting also guarantees an extremely firm cohesion of the components. All material properties, from thermal conductivity to clamping force, are therefore in no way inferior to classic metal components made of cast steel, aluminum or copper.

The spin-off is supported by the EXIST program of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology at the Chair of Additive Manufacturing of Prof. Dr. Henning Zeidler at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

More information: https://www.tu-freiberg.de/

Additive Drives: https://www.additive-drives.de/

 

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