Last year, Heraeus and its cooperation partners showed the full potential of industrial 3D printing for the automobile industry. The consortium, whose members include Heraeus, Altair, APWORKS, csi entwicklungstechnik, EOS GmbH and GERG, produced a new front-end structure for an old VW Caddy. As an expert in additive manufacturing, Heraeus delivered and qualified the technical, high-strength aluminum alloy Scalmalloy® developed by APWORKS for production. The project was awarded the German Innovation Award by the German Design Council last Wednesday.
The 3i-PRINT project was able to convince the jury twice over for the evaluation criteria of degree of innovation, user benefits and economic viability. The project was chosen as the winner in both the Design Thinking and the Excellence in Business to Business categories. This was the inaugural German Innovation Award, with the award ceremony taking place in the German Museum of Technology in Berlin.
“We developed a prototype with 3D printed components in our cooperative project,” said Tobias Caspari, head of the Additive Manufacturing Startup at Heraeus. “Additive manufacturing definitely has the potential to become a permanent fixture in serial production for a wide variety of industries in the next few years. We’re particularly pleased that, with the participation of Heraeus, the project has won the German Innovation Award.”
The project’s innovative character lies in the technology of 3D printing, which uses metal powder to create 3D objects. The parts printed using this technology are particularly lightweight but have high stability, which allows them to be used in multiple applications. Thanks to additive manufacturing and an innovative material, the 3i-PRINT cooperative project demonstrates the possibilities of functional integration that traditional manufacturing processes do not offer.