Bentley doubles 3D printing capacity at UK HQ

UK-headquartered luxury auto manufacturer Bentley Motors has doubled its additive manufacturing capacity with a £3 million investment at its Crewe facility.

The milestone is said to be a major component of the company’s ‘Dream Factory’ ambitions and vision to create a ‘long-term, sustainable business model’, and forms part of its Beyond100 strategy focused on sustainable mobility leadership. Last year, the facility, where all Bentley models are built, was used to 3D print more than 15,000 components but Bentley says this expansion will enable the production of 3D printed vehicle components and greater personalisation in customer cars.

Peter Bosch, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Manufacturing, added: “Bentley’s approach to additive manufacturing is industry-leading and the facility is quickly becoming a cornerstone of our ‘Dream Factory’ ambitions. One of the key benefits is that it is efficiency led, cutting down on the cost and complexity of a myriad of jobs.”

Bentley’s R&D team has identified a number of use cases including manufacturing aids such a lightweight sanding blocks for its wood shop, components for full-scale powertrain and aerodynamic wind tunnel models, and historically accurate tooling equipment for the Bentley Blower Continuation model.

Bosch continued: “This latest investment is also making a significant impact with our colleagues from across the company, helping to create advanced assisted tools to drive continuous improvement throughout manufacturing processes. As we look to the future, there really is huge potential to where this advanced technology can progress, including having a greater ability to personalise parts for our customers and further enhancing the individualisation programme offered on every car.”

The Volkswagen-owned company hasn’t specified which additive manufacturing systems it has invested in but an image accompanying the announcement shows polymer systems from Stratasys and HP. Bentley believes the equipment will deliver 50% cost savings on parts and will be capable of producing thousands of components in over 25 different material options through around the clock operation.


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