Divergent 3D’s technology uses direct-metal laser sintering. Layers of aluminum alloy powder are built up to create the necessary parts or to build molds for non-metallic components. And because complex shapes can be created easily, parts that until now have been made of several pieces that have to be welded together can be created as single pieces.
Right now, Divergent 3D and its partners are working on structural parts and suspension components, but over time “large complex structures like cylinder heads and engine blocks will be 3D printed,” Czinger told us. The goal is to cut the number of parts per vehicle by three-quarters and to reduce the weight of a vehicle’s “body-in-white” by half. And as we all know, the lighter your vehicle, the more fuel efficient it is. According to Czinger, his parts are 10-15 percent lighter than T6 aluminum, but with the same stiffness.