BUSINESS IT

Revolutionary project: Auto parts manufactured with 3D printing technology

The Cluj-Napoca Technical University (UTCN) presented on Monday a EUR 1 M European project, won by UTCN, whose goal is the development of 3D printing technology for industrial applications. The method could allow the manufacturing of auto parts used in the Romanian auto industry.

Nicolae Balc, head of the Manufacturing Engineering Department, which is part of UTCN’s Auto Vehicle Manufacturing Faculty, explained at a press conference on Monday that the first 3D-printed auto part will appear in approximately six months’ time. Likewise, such parts are expected to be manufactured directly within auto industry companies in two years’ time.
“We have launched the AMaTUC – Horizon 2020 project, which has full financing worth EUR 1 M from the EC and whose goal is the development and re-launch of 3D printing technologies and adapting them for transfer from the laboratory to auto industry companies in Romania, companies that assemble cars as well as those that manufacture car parts. In other countries, these technologies are used in industry too, and we are trying to efficiently implement 3D printing technologies for when companies have to manufacture complex steel parts. The first auto parts 3D printed as part of this project will appear in around six months’ time and in the next two years we expected parts to be printed directly at the level of auto industry companies in Romania,” Nicolae Balc stated.

As part of this project, the team’s activity will focus on three directions – improving existing additive manufacturing technologies, integrating 3D technologies with other manufacturing technologies and designing customized products for competitive manufacturing.

The auto parts that will be manufactured with the help of 3D printing technology will be made out of plastic but also metal. Nicolae Balc explained that these could be engine and braking system parts.

“The advantages of 3D printing consist of lowering the period in which a new product appears on the market and the fact that the manufacturing of complex parts at the same costs is made possible,” Balc added.

On this occasion, he also pointed out that UTCN currently has the first National 3D Printing Centre in Romania.
The Cluj-Napoca Technical University is developing this project alongside the Loughborough University in England, the Applied Sciences University in Aachen, Germany, and the Luxembourg-based Itelligentsia Consultants Sarl. The AMaTUC project will span a period of three years.

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