Manufacturer of automotive parts, Delphi, has been using 3D printing technology for the production of prototypes for years. Carbon’s M1 3D printer has enabled them to develop functional prototypes and will eventually also allow the company to run small batch productions for end-use parts.
California-based startup Carbon has first introduced their groundbreaking and fast continuous liquid interface production (CLIP) technology in 2015. It not only enables users to print up to 100 times faster than with other 3D printers on the market, but also allows for the production of functional prototypes with a series of proprietary resins featuring different mechanical properties, among them rigid, elastomeric and flexible materials.
”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,” explained Jerry Rhinehart, manager of additive manufacturing at Delphi. “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.”
Among the parts printed by Delphi are grommets to protect wiring, shield parts for product assembly and arrays of electrical connectors.
Besides shortening their prototyping and production timelines, Carbon’s engineering-grade materials make it possible for Delphi to explore new markets, as additive manufacturing technology allows for a new design freedom to be adopted by designers and engineers developing and exploring new products.