GM banks on 3D printed parts for lower costs, vehicle weights
May 4, 2018 Sean Szymkowski Reuters
GM 3D-printed seat bracket concept part
Future automotive components could look less like rigid pieces and more like
organic shapes. General Motors announced on Thursday that the automaker has
worked with Bay-area software company Autodesk to create a 3D-printed
component to preview future manufacturing processes.
The part is a seat bracket made from stainless steel. Compared to a
traditional seat bracket, the 3D-printed part is 40 percent lighter and 20
percent stronger. Normally, the same part would involve eight separate
components and several suppliers; the proof-of-concept part is one fluid
The software technology behind the process is called generative design. It
uses cloud computing and AI-based algorithms to envision hundreds of
concepts based on parameters, goals, and manufacturing materials input by
the user. The user can then tweak the final design for the project at hand.
GM envisions a future in which 3D printing takes over for countless
manufacturing processes, and that will lead to lower costs and vehicle
“Generative design is the future of manufacturing, and GM is a pioneer in
using it to lightweight their future vehicles,” said Scott Reese, Autodesk
senior vice president for manufacturing and construction products.
“Generative technologies fundamentally change how engineering work is done
because the manufacturing process is built into design options from the
start. GM engineers will be able to explore hundreds of
ready-to-be-manufactured, high-performance design options faster than they
were able to validate a single design the old way.”
Specifically, the breakthrough could help shave precious pounds from
electric cars and inch alternative-energy vehicles closer to profitability.
GM has insisted it will turn a profit on electric cars in 2021. The
automaker also has plans for 20 new battery-electric vehicles by 2023. Two
of them will share the Chevrolet Bolt EV's platform.
Autodesk's technology could prove paramount in realizing GM's goal of
profitable electric cars. Without extra components or numerous suppliers,
the part-making process becomes simplified.
GM and Autodesk have forged a multi-year alliance to collaborate on 3D
printing, generative design, and materials science.
Many automakers have begun experimenting with 3D printing, and concept cars
normally feature the bulk of any 3D-printed work. One company by the name of
Hackrod has taken things a step further, though. The company has begun using
3D printers to build an entire car from the chassis up. "La Bandita," as
it's called, features a one-piece aluminum structure 3D-printed from 2319
GM bets on 3D printers for cheaper and lighter car parts
May 3, 2018 ... uses cloud computing and artificial intelligence-based
algorithms to rapidly explore multiple permutations of a part design. Using
conventional technology, the part would require eight components and several
suppliers. With this new system, the seat bracket consists of one part -
which looks like a mix between abstract art and science fiction movie - that
is 40 percent lighter and 20 percent stronger ...
(Whole Foods blink'ing way from nrg)
Whole Foods Begins Installing EV Chargers at Stores
May 07, 2018 ... partnership with electric vehicle charging company Blink to
begin installing the EV charge points at its US stores. Three Whole Foods
markets have received the Blink chargers so far … (“Blink Charging” or (ccg)
Whole Foods Market Providing Blink Charging Electric Vehicle Chargers at New
May 07, 2018 Whole Foods Market to Join Blink’s Nationwide Charging Station
Network Hollywood, Florida …
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