Dunleer hi-tech firm in the fast lane with Honda
A Hi-tech Dunleer firm has been shortlisted for a major international award for their work with car giants Honda.
Mcor Technologies, who manufacture a line of 3D printers, have been working with Honda among other high profile customers over the last 18 months.
Honda have been using Mcor's Selective Deposition Lamination (SDL) technology to build moulds for carbon fibre reinforced plastic parts. CFRPs can be expensive to produce but are commonly used wherever high strength-to-weight ratio and rigidity are required, such as aerospace, automotive, civil engineering, sports goods and an increasing number of other consumer and technical applications.
Honda have traditionally used these methods to produce the moulds but this is expensive and labour intensive and they can now produce these 3D printed paper moulds at one-tenth the cost of metal moulds and have reported that the final parts are of equal quality.
'We are always amazed with what our customers can achieve with our technology, using paper based 3D printed models as the moulds for this process reduces the cost of producing CFRPs considerably and as a result, it might even pave the way for their use in mass produced cars not just in low volume manufacturing in the automotive industry,' Deirdre MacCormack (pictured), Mcor CMO said.
Nakajima Masato from Honda said; "Many 3D printers have been tested for the production of moulds, but CFRP moulds need high temperature and pressure strength, so current resin materials cannot be used and metal 3D printers are very high cost for one off use. So Mcor's paper based 3D printing is really the best fit for the CFRP application.
'The race teams are very interested in this method for CFRP as it is very inexpensive, in fact we can achieve a cost reduction of about 50%, mainly on the die fee. '
The TCT Awards will take place in Birmingham on September 27th and will be presented by Robert Llewellyn, best known for his portrayal of Kryten in Red Dwarf.
The Mcor/Honda entry will compete against Audi and Daimler in the final. Mcor will also be exhibiting at this event the latest addition to their product line, the Mcor ARKe, the world's first full colour desktop 3D printer which won the Best of Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas.