MANUFACTURING COMPLEX SHAPES & BIONIC STRUCTURES
ROAD AND RACE APPLICATIONS
Offering the design and manufacture of complex mechanical shapes and bionic structures using a number of different materials with advanced auto additive manufacturing.
We are able to design using the latest CAD tools, simulate (mechanically and thermally), manufacture using a range of the latest machines, and validate parts.
Each additively manufactured part goes through three important process steps:
- Our additive engineering team conducts an in-depth analysis of customers’ requirements and desired materials to create a design with an optimized form and function.
- The analysis results are passed along to the additive production centre for manufacture, including surface finish optimization using our comprehensive portfolio of technologies.
- As the additive manufacturing process approaches its final steps, the finished products are put through a set of strict criteria in our Quality Management
If required, we can also perform a complete validation of the printed parts, including CT-scan, vibration and humidity tests.
Should a copy of a part be required (due to obsolescence for example), then Zytek can 3D scan the part, complete any refinement of the scanned component, and additively manufacture the part in the desired material.
Processes used in Zytek ADaM include:
Selective Laser Melting: SLM is a laser-based layering process in which metal powder is completely melted and then solidified. Following the 3D printing process, the part is removed from the building platform with an eroding machine. Subsequently, removal of the support structures and sandblasting of the component is performed. In the final step, all mating surfaces and key dimensions are conventionally finish-machined.
Selective Laser Sintering: The basic material for SLS is a powder-based polymer. Depending on the application and customer requirements, PA12, PA6, or PA11 are used. The polymer is heated and melted by local sintering with a laser beam. Due to the compacted powder, the components can be manufactured without support structures. In addition, complicated geometries can also be realised, not possible using conventional manufacturing methods.
Stereolithography: The basic material for stereolithography is a liquid photopolymer, which can be activated by UV exposure. The SLA-processed synthetic resins are solidified layer-by-layer with the aid of a laser. The manufactured component is removed, any surface liquid allowed to drain, before it is washed using a solvent. Subsequently, the support structures required for production are removed. Finally, the surface is reworked, and the component is cured under UV light.
Fused Deposition Modelling: This process allows production with several materials such as ABS, PC, ABSESD, FDM-Nylon, and ULTEM – a plastic with excellent mechanical and electrical properties. Through the heating and application of thermoplastic filament, an immediate solidification of the applied material can be achieved. The finished components can be used without reworking. Only the process-related supporting structures must be removed.
Digital Light Processing: DLP technology is similar to SLA. Both are variations of vat polymerisation – a liquid photopolymer resin that can be cured with light. In the case of DLP, a projector serves as the light source to expose the bottom of a material reservoir. Different layers are built one after the other on a platform and are drawn out of the liquid at the end of the manufacturing process. DLP technology ensures both speed and accuracy of manufacture with special materials.
Vacuum Casting: The prerequisite to the production of a vacuum casting is a prototype created using the SLA process. This prototype serves as the initial model for the silicone mould. The prototype is fixed in a frame, which is filled with silicone rubber. This creates a silicone tool. The mould is then closed and filled under vacuum with liquid polyurethane. Insert parts can also be integrated, thus creating options for complex multi-component parts. Up to 20 castings can be produced from a single mould.
RELATED ENGINEERING CAPABILITIES
Comprehensive manufacturing capabilities, via a range of in-house welding centres and CNC machines, in combination with a close network of specialist manufacturing partners for items such as mechanical assemblies.
In-house/track testing facilities and our dedicated team creates the environment to develop highest quality solutions in the quickest time.
Highly experienced automotive design engineers, delivering electronic, mechanical, concept, prototype, electric motor, and solutions to complex designs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Whenever it offers a cost or performance/mass advantage (such as lightweight components) not offered by traditional manufacturing methods.
The facilities are a part of our parent company (Continental), which houses a comprehensive range of manufacturing workstations and 3D printing technologies that offer a wide range of processes.
In general, yes. But this will not yield the full benefits of the design processes that can be made available when additive manufacturing is utilised.
So it is far better to decide at the design stage if such a manufacturing process should be used.
Yes, we have numerous OEMs as clients as can offer our additive manufacturing capabilities for the production of components.
Our core expertise is within motorsport where the high-performance requirements demand the most cutting-edge manufacturing approaches.
We also specialise in electric vehicles, creating in 1994, a single-seat battery-electric car with in-wheel electric motors.