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BMW 3D printing parts

BMW 3D Printing Parts: Shaping the Future

For most of 2021, almost every car manufacturer was hampered by delays in the supply chain and, therefore, production delays were widely reported as well. The reliance on parts from other countries has revealed that this is the Achilles heel for many car manufacturers. This was made evident during the Covid-19 pandemic. In many cases, entire industries were forced to halt or delay production. The car industry, however, has always proven to be resilient and forward-thinking companies like BMW have come up with an innovative in-house venture that will use 3D printing to make some of its car parts, thus reducing the reliance on supply chains. What an amazing idea – BMW investing in 3D printing technology!

3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY

The technology of 3D printing has been around for about two decades, but never completely caught on, chiefly because the technology was slow, not useful for making many products, and utilized substances like cement or metal, which are not easy to work with.

A lot has changed in recent years, however, with the technology, and it is here that BMW 3D printing technology is taking advantage of it to make parts for its new cars. BMW investing in 3D printing technology is an innovative solution that will use nouveau-age materials to make some of the parts for its cars.

GEL PRINTING TECHNOLOGY EVOLVES

The 3D printing company, Rapid Liquid Print (RLP), will use industry-standard materials to make soft flexible auto products without the need to further the process or retooling. The technology used by RLP was created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) labs and has granted the company an exclusive license for use. The key concept behind RLP’s 3D printing technology is the use of gel printing technology. Within minutes, RLP can create large-scale items from high-grade materials like foam, rubber, and plastics.

Until now, BMW 3D printing had never caught on in the auto industry because the printing was slow, time-consuming, and could only print out small volumes. At first, some of the items were of poor quality, making them not suitable for use in auto manufacturing. With the groundbreaking gel printing technology, however, RLP will be able to make high-quality car parts of any size and complexity within minutes. With RLP and BMW investing in 3D printing, it is going to reduce the time to make complex molds from 8 weeks to a few minutes.

DRAW IT ON PAPER AND PRINT IT OUT

The unique feature of RLP 3D printing is that if something can be drawn on paper, it can be printed. There are no limits on design. Besides printing on a large scale, the technology also allows for multiple objects to be printed at the same time. Currently, there is no other similar solution on the world market.

GEL PRINTING TECHNOLOGY IS IDEAL FOR CAR MANUFACTURERS

Researchers at MIT labs have already shown that gel printing technology is ideal for BMW 3D printing and that it can help avoid the long delays in the supply chain. With BMW investing in 3D printing technology, RLP is presently working in collaboration with BMW, but it also has plans to make parts for hospitals, footwear companies, and the aviation industry in the future.

BMW iVentures will represent BMW investing in 3D printing technology and helping to fund RLP to make its car parts, but the hope is that such technology will offer a wider variety of solutions to a bigger market. Exactly how much funding BMW has provided has not been revealed, but earlier BMW had mentioned a $300 million investment and it has a long history of promoting innovation. Contact Braman Motorsports BMW today at 1-561-609-0130 to learn more.

The Future of BMW

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit all car manufacturers equally hard. There was work stoppage for most of 2020 and this also caused a delay in receiving needed parts and supplies; leaving a large question mark on the path of BMW future cars. But now that businesses are getting back on pace, people are reflecting on what they’ve learned. The pandemic has taught BMW two important lessons: the luxury car industry can be finicky, and the world is going green. The public is slowly moving away from gas-powered cars and the demand for electric vehicles (EV) is on the rise. So, it’s no surprise that BMW future vehicles will be exceedingly electric.

BMW electric vehicles

BMW is going all-electric by 2030. BMW has already started to build or expand factories in Mexico, Hungary, China, and the United States to meet the EV demand.

More importantly, its vision for BMW future cars is to release newer models that will shape its path into the next decade. BMW future vehicles will not only be family-oriented, but also be more sporty and compact.

BMW FUTURE CARS

The newest model for the BMW M series will be the G87 M2. While much remains unknown about this car, it will be electric and most likely a coupe. In addition, the G87 M2 will be rear-wheel drive. The company does not plan to make significant changes to the interior aspects of BMW future vehicles, but the exterior will have a modified sporty look.

The second generation of the BMW M4 (G82 coupe and G83 convertible) has just started to appear in Europe and should be available in the U.S. early next year. This high-performance version of the older G22 4 series comes with more HP but has the same twin-kidney grille. The convertible version with a folding soft top will be available as a Competition model with the M xDrive. Rest assured this luxury sports car is fast, reaching 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 220 mph. At the moment, only the manual transmission will be available in the standard M4. By 2025, BMW will eventually release other versions, namely CS, CSL, and GTS.

In 2020, BMW announced an improved 5 series Touring with similar upgrades for the M5, M5 Competition, and M5CS. These luxury models will be leaner, and trimmer compared to the previous models, but much remains unknown about the exact specs or when they will appear. 

BMW will be offering an all-wheel drive SUV in the X2 range, which will be powered by a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. Minor facelifts are planned for 2022 but the Covid-19 pandemic may slow down this venture. 

Several other derivatives of the X5 have also been announced, which will be more powerful and faster than previous models. There are also plans for the X6 M and X6 M Competition versions of each. They may appear in several years, providing there are fewer supply chain hiccups.

FOCUS ON ALL ELECTRIC CARS

The long-term BMW future cars is for all-electric models. BMW is trying to cut down on gas-powered vehicles and putting more effort into making plug-in hybrids and full EVs over the next few years. In early 2022, the BMW i4, an all-new electric sedan, will appear in the showrooms and is expected to compete against other mid-size EVs and the Tesla Model 3.

BMW has acknowledged that the market for EVs is very competitive, and it will need to compete with the cheaper and more efficient EVs already on the market. Its primary focus, however, will be on making eco-friendly luxury cars that will be lighter, smaller, and have stronger batteries. 

To learn more about BMW future vehicles, visit Braman Motorcars or call them at (561) 609-0144 to speak to a knowledgeable representative.