Carbon has partnered with yet another automaker to produce 3D printed parts for use on a production vehicle.
The additive manufacturing company, based in Redwood City, Calif., announced Feb. 11 that it is collaborating with Italian automaker Automobili Lamborghini SpA to produce two 3D printed plastic parts on the Urus super sport utility vehicle. The parts include a textured fuel cap with the Urus label and a component for an air duct.
The parts are made with Carbon's epoxy-based EPX 82, a high-strength engineering material with long-term durability and mechanical properties comparable to glass-filled thermoplastics, using the company's proprietary approach to 3D printing.
Carbon's Digital Light Synthesis technology — enabled by its proprietary Continuous Liquid Interface Production (Clip) process — uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics and programmable liquid resins to produce parts that have high-quality mechanical properties, resolution and surface finish. The company said parts printed with this process are similar to injection molded parts and have consistent and predictable mechanical proprieties — an important requirement for automotive applications.
Lamborghini, in collaboration with parent company Volkswagen Group's Electronics Research Lab in Belmont, Calif., said it is using Carbon's printers and DLS technology to redesign a variety of parts used in vehicle interiors, mirror assemblies and other accessory components.
"Through our extensive procurement research, we found that many of our vehicle components were ideal candidates for digital manufacturing," Stefan Gramse, chief procurement officer at Lamborghini, said in a statement.
"By partnering with Carbon, we are designing on the means of production, which allows us to produce more durable products smarter, faster and more efficiently, while also substantially accelerating our time to market," he said. "We are looking forward to a sustainable, successful partnership with Carbon."
But Lamborghini isn't the only automaker that has tapped into Carbon's technology.
In January, Carbon announced its collaboration with Ford Motor Co. to produce end-use parts for certain models of the Focus, F-150 Raptor and the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500. The GT500 was unveiled last month at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
"Carbon's digital manufacturing solution empowers companies like Lamborghini with the freedom to design and build better products on the means of production," Joseph DeSimone, Carbon's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
"The automotive industry shows significant promise for using digital fabrication for production at scale, and our partnership with Lamborghini is a perfect example of the kind of innovation you can achieve when you fuse design, manufacturability and engineering all into one."