Engage in AM

Enabling Energy and Environmental Transition through Multi Material Design and Additive Manufacturing

Although transportation is one of the greatest contributors to the advancement of modern-day society, due to affordable prices and globalization, it now faces the uneasy task of balancing its inevitable development and the associated economic benefits with the protection of health and the environment. Mobility being an important contributor to our CO₂ footprint, the Netherlands has expressed the ambition to have a sustainable mobility system and put forward the goal of 25 Mton CO2 emission reduction by 2030. Reducing the weight of a transportation system will improve fuel efficiency and thus lower the CO2 emission.

Single material products

Independently of the energy source, the weight of a transportation system always has negative effects on system efficiency and eventually on the environment. Many of the components of transportation system are single material products and are often overdesigned to meet a wide range of possible applications and conditions. Conventional manufacturing methods (casting, forging and machining from solid blocks) cannot produce locally tailored properties and are thus inefficient and wasteful.

Multi-Material Additive Manufacturing as the holy grail of the transportation sector

Additive manufacturing (AM) has already revolutionized the way we approach product design and manufacturing. The next paradigm shift is in Multi-material AM, which allows for simultaneous printing of different materials with functional properties, thus enabling component design with “pre-programmed” site-specific properties. Combining light weight with optimal local properties is the holy grail of the transport sector. Reducing a car's weight by 100 kg triggers a reduction in CO2 emissions of 7.6 g/km. Only for the Netherlands, this means a reduction of 830.000 t CO2 per year.

Imagine the implications for any designer or engineer who not only has unprecedented 3D control over the shape and microstructure, but also over the location-specific properties in the products!

Blending multidisciplinary expertise to enable novel light weight designs

To reach the challenging goal put forward in the project proposal, the involvement of companies from the relevant sectors as well as along the whole value-chain is required. In this project, multidisciplinary researchers and engineers from TU Delft, University of Twente and M2i together with GKN Fokker, Beamler and a broad 3D-printing and mobility consortium will develop weight reduction material design for energy efficient transport by “programming” location dependent properties in components, enabling the use of multiple materials to drastically cut weight and boost fuel efficiency.

Blending expertise from component design, 3D-printing and material science, this project will devise an entirely new way of constructing smart components with full 3D functionality designed and built directly inside the materials.