Magnesium injection molding will be a big winner as auto OEMs lighten vehicles. The number of pounds of magnesium in cars remains small, about 10 pounds on average. But that could easily quadruple over the next four years. Molded magnesium will be a winner because it overcomes some of the energy cost and environmental problems associated with die casting. One evidence: Volkswagen is installing a Thixomolding machine in its Kassel, Geremany production plant. VW will use the process to make steering wheels, seating, shifter housings, instrument panels, roof structures and structural chassis components.
actually the application of magnesium alloy thixo-molding was introduced for some aspects such as a machine function surface quality and corrosion resistance. this products was produced by die-casting. good thing that volkswagens applies this technology into their volkswagen parts. this will really helps it to lighten the load.
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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