BMW Group’s newly launched i8 Roadster features a lightweight metal additively manufactured cover carrier. The part is used to carry a cover which unfolds when opening the roof of BMW’s advanced open-top hybrid sports car.
Manufactured from AlSi10Mg0.5 in a Powder Bed AM process, the part offers increased stiffness and reduced weight. Each i8 Roadster will include two of the AM cover carrier components, a left and right hand version. Production is expected to run to several thousand parts.
According to BMW Group, the use of metal AM allowed the topologically optimised parts to be produced in a geometric form which would not have been possible using conventional casting techniques. This ensures the optimum balance between the component’s rigidity and weight. The ability to reduce the weight and part count of automotive components is a key advantage of AM, with vehicle light-weighting being one vital way in which vehicle manufactures can increase fuel efficiency.
The i8 Roadster premiered during the Los Angeles Auto Show in December 2017 and will see its market launch in May 2018.
(Source: Metal AM_Vol. 3_N°4)