Coventry’s Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) is developing what they claim to be the world’s first 3D printed electric motor.
According to The Engineer, the MTC team has developed a way of producing an electric motor with major components made using additive manufacturing (AM).
Though the new motor has reduced components and is smaller in size than its market counterparts, there is no decrease in motor power.
According to the scientists, a part count reduction could help make supply chains simpler, increase manufacturing efficiency, lower running costs and reduce assembly and inspection time and costs.
MTC has already developed a way of producing an electric motor casing including integrated cooling channels using AM.
Their end goal is for the motor to be wholly manufactured using 3D printing techniques.
Drawing light on how electric motors has not received this level of focus for over 100 years, MTC chief technologist Steve Nesbitt attributes this to number of challenges including complex or manual assembly, materials that are difficult to process and which can be expensive, thermal management, and the need to make the assembly lighter.
He adds that by now leveraging the capabilities of additive manufacturing through product redesign, major benefits can be achieved in costs, waste reduction, performance and ease of manufacture.
Nesbitt’s team is currently undertaking a detailed examination of further developments required for production.
They are also looking into overcoming potential challenges and constraints along the way.
Image and content: MTC/The Engineer