BMW’s created 1M 3D-printed parts since 2010

The use of 3D-printed components isn’t exactly new, but it has begun to reach levels normally reserved for mass production. A remarkable example is the 3D priting of parts by BMW. The German automaker said in a November announcement that it has produced one million 3D-printed components since 2010.

This year alone, the BMW Group Additive Manufacturing Center will manufacture 200,000 components via 3D printers, which is up 42 percent over 2017. The one-millionth component was a window guide rail for the

BMW i8 Roadster. BMW said it took just five days to develop the component which was then integrated into production shortly thereafter. BMW worked with HP Multi Jet Fusion Technology to develop and manufacture the part. The part marks the first time a BMW/HP partnership component made its way into series production.

Aside from the window guide rail, the i8 Roadster also features a 3D-printed fixture for the soft-top attachment. Critically, it weighs less than the former injection-molded plastic part, but the aluminum alloy makes it considerably stiffer.

Work with 3D printers began in 2010 at BMW with small-scale components for its DTM racers, such as the water pump pulley. It expanded in 2012 with laser-sintered parts for the Rolls-Royce Phantom. And the ultra-luxury brand of the BMW Group also features 3D-printed fixtures for fiber optic guides in the Rolls-Royce Dawn. The brand installs 10 3D-printed parts in its vehicles today.

But others have also expanded their work with 3D printers. Supercars from Koenigsegginterior components from General Motors, and replacement parts for classic Porsche cars all feature 3D-printing technology today or will incorporate it in the near future.

BMW hopes its research and work in 3D printing opens up a new era of driver customization en masse. Today, fellow BMW Group brand Mini offers the ability to let soon-to-be-owners select custom indicator inlays and dashboard strips online before they’re sent off for 3D printing and installed into the production car.

DELIVERING SUCCESS AT SCALE

My partner and I approached David at Re3dtech with our project and were greeted with kind and caring service. Throughout the last couple of months we have placed several orders in varying size and were even able to sit down with David and the owner to discuss our needs as a small business. Through this sit down we saw their passion for assisting both small and large clients in achieving their goals. We even had a hiccup with a batch of prints that was immediately addressed and remedied with precision and care. I almost don't want to recommend these guys because I feel like I have stumbled upon a hidden gem in 3D printing services and selfishly want to keep it to myself. Jokes aside we will be continuing our business relationship with the folks there and look forward to growing our order quantities and business with their help.
Re3DTech was instrumental in helping us get our product, Stroba™, to market faster! We needed a technology that could do snap fits and looks and feels as close the injection molded part as possible, and Re3D Tech was there for us. We used SOLIDWORKS Make to get in touch originally, upload models directly, and sign an NDA directly with their excellent team. It was really simple and easy to use their quoting tool as well. Excellent prices, excellent lead times, and superior quality are perfect words to describe our experience with Re3DTech. We went through many prototypes for Stroba™, and we at Goodfriend Innovations™ use Re3DTech for our other rapid prototyping jobs to help get our additional productions out to market faster than the competition. 5 Stars
I provided RE3DTECH three laser scanned ".stl" files for 3-D printing of prototypes. I used their on-line quote and file delivery process. The file acceptance and resultant quote were returned quickly. The parts were received at the quoted time. The parts are quite complex with many holes, angles, curvatures and notches. Each of the parts came out identical to the scanned parts dimensionally and passed the form/fit/function test in the upper level assembly. RE3DTECH has a high quality business process and produces high quality products. I will use them for future prototyping projects and recommend RE3DTECH.
Re3dtech is one of the most honest and reputable companies we have done business with. We decided to look into options for getting parts made in the USA for the retail market. It was awesome to find a local company with humble staff looking to provide their services meeting our criteria, not to mention meeting the Re3tech crew face to face and checking out their operation. Peter was very honest, knowledgable about design. Peter's creative element made working with him a great pleasure. Jim's flexibility was a breath of fresh air and greatly appreciated. CentralSound is proud to scratch the surface with Made in the USA parts in the retail market now, thanks to Re3dtech. Hope to do more business with them in the future.
Re3dtech has consistently delivered the best service I have ever received in the industry. Their response time is unmatched and they always stand by their parts and quality. They regularly make me look like an all star at my job.
It is always a pleasure to have a vendor that provides quality, experience, and always shows as much care for your order, and your product as you do!