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APWorks Shows off Metal 3D Printing Capabilities at BMW i8 Customer Event

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An exceptional event – approximately 50 guests and BMW i8 drivers visited Airbus subsidiary APWorks in Taufkirchen, Germany end of March to get an overview of the plant’s metal 3D printing capabilites. The event’s highlight was a helicopter pursuing a BMW i8.

“Incredible to see what metal 3D printing is already capable of today” by Christian Adler, Consultant for Digitalization and Innovation.

Joachim Zettler, CEO of APWorks started with an overview of the possibilities metal 3D printing offers. He showed applications from industries such as aerospace, medical technology, mechanical engineering, tooling, as well as Formula 1. Zettler illustrated how the tool less manufacturing method of 3D printing can reduce lead time and costs for the motorsports industry. Furthermore, he demonstrated how individual and lightweight parts for compact racing car chassis can be designed and produced. Structural components get printed out of Scalmalloy and thermally loaded parts out of Titanium.

“Although I am from the automotive industry, I did not know that the motorsports industry and especially Formula 1 is already using that many metal 3D printed parts. The possibilities 3D printing offers are impressive.” Marcus Pluntke, Product Manager BMW i8.

Dushan Pamunuwa, an engineer at APWorks displayed how bionic optimization works. Always referring to the best practice example of the Light Rider, the world’s first 3D printed motorcycle prototype. “It is all about developing parts that are extremely high performing and durable, but require as less material as necessary.” Afterwards COO Dr. Matthias Asdonk guided the visitors through the APWorks manufacturing hall showing them machines from EOS and Additive Industries. Asdonk: “Our competitive advantage is that we not only print parts but also have a lot of knowhow in printing processes and materials. We consider the printing process while optimizing the parts.”

The event’s highlight was a helicopter pursuing a BMW i8. An action movie scenario that made the guests speechless. Angela Grünewald, responsible for Marketing at APWorks stated: “It was incredible to see the different manoeuvres the helicopter pilot was able to do and how the BMW i8 was accelerating right after the bends.”

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