BMW Group has been using 3D printing for more than 25 years, and in the past 10 years, the technology has produced 1 million parts. This year alone, the company expects to print more than 200,000 parts in 3D, up 42 percent from last year. BMW group is just getting started.The company is aggressively pursuing additive manufacturing in the hope of staying ahead of the auto industry that is rapidly embracing the technology.
BMW group's 1 millionth 3D printed part recently appeared on the BMW i8 sports car in the form of 3D printed window guides.It took only five days to develop and was quickly integrated into the series. The guideway sits on the door of the roadster, allowing the Windows to run smoothly.It was built using HP's multi-jet fusion technology and is now used for the first time in a series of cars.The technology can produce 100 window guides in 24 hours. In addition, BMW USES EOS selective laser sintering and various other technologies for metals and polymers.
The company has big plans for future 3-d printing.It recently began offering some customization options for the BMW MINI, many of which are 3D printed.Last year, BMW Group began using 3-d printed fiber optic guides on the Rolls-Royce dawn.Rolls-Royce currently has 10 3D printed parts in its product line.