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22-09-2020 | Manufacturing | News | Article

3D Printing Is the Key to More Powerful Electric Motors

Author:
Patrick Schäfer
1 min reading time

The TU Bergakademie Freiberg is developing an innovative 3D printing process for copper coils. This should lead to shorter development and test cycles as well as more powerful motors. 

The four founders of the newly established EXIST research transfer project Additive Drives at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg want to improve the performance and efficiency of current electric motors. They believe traditional manufacturing processes for electric motors have reached their limits. One of their alternatives involves manufacturing copper coils using 3D printing.

This special copper 3D printing process uses selective laser melting and does not require additional tools, helping to reduce the manufacturing time to just a few days. It takes several months to produce an electric motor prototype using traditional manufacturing processes due to the complex winding tools. Selective laser melting also ensures that the components are extremely cohesive.

3D printing leads to more powerful electric motors

Additively manufactured components also make electric motors more powerful. "The operationally optimal geometry of the additive components enables a performance increase of up to 45 percent," says Philipp Arnold, one of the four founders. Together with his colleagues, he now wants to establish additive manufacturing of copper coils on the market and further develop the technology.

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