Vibration test of advanced 3D-printed components

ReThink – Norwegian Advanced Design and Innovation Center, are now working on their first project. The project aims to map the tolerance of vibration fixtures produced with additive manufacturing, also known as 3D-printing. Recently, a vibration test was conducted at Kongsberg Automotive, one of the companies that established ReThink.

– As a national competence center within design for additive manufacturing, it is very exciting to get started with our first project, says Lars Lyshaug, head of cluster projects at the Kongsberg Cluster.

– We have now conducted a test of a 3D-printed vibration fixture, manufactured with topology optimization, to see if it can withstand the great stresses that arise during vibration testing of products for the automotive industry. This test will verify how well the real test conditions can be represented in our data models, he says.

– We use data tools to simulate all processes in a product and component development cycle. In this way, we know that the final product meets the specifications that it must meet. This will make the development process more efficient, he emphasizes.

Successful vibration test

All products in the automotive industry are to some degree affected by vibrations, for example during transportation or when in use. Vibration testing is used to identify a product’s ability to withstand these vibrations over time. Testing, verifying and comparing the 3D-printed fixture and associated components with today’s solutions is part of ReThink’s mission with the project.

– Products and components made through additive manufacturing, like the fixture, are both stronger and lighter than those we have today. The vibration test we conducted confirmed this, says Christer Kobbervik at Kongsberg Automotive.

– The fixture and the components the fixture was customized for were stress-tested in the same way that we test today’s solutions and our data are consistent with what we predicted, he adds.

New possibilities

The Kongsberg industry have long experience in advanced production and has experience with different materials and different manufacturing processes.

– Being able to produce things we have never been able to; with completely new features, faster, more efficient and with precise precision will have a major impact on how we conduct production processes in the future, says Peder A. Aune, Industrial Design Engineer at KDS. – Additive manufacturing creates new possibilities in new markets which is only stopped by our imagination, he says.

Going forward

Going forward, the companies that participate in ReThink’s project will continue to explore and test 3D-printed fixtures, products and components.

– We are very excited about what’s ahead of us and what results and data we get from the verification project, says Lars Lyshaug in the Kongsberg Cluster.

ReThink is a competence center situated in Kongsberg. ReThink focuses on product and system design. The center is established by TechnipFMC, the Kongsberg Group, Kongsberg Automotive and GKN Aerospace. ReThink is located at Kongsberg Innovation and Kongsberg Innovation is facilitating the center.