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Volkswagen is pressing ahead with the use of innovative 3D printers in car production. For the first time, the newest process – known as binder jetting – is being used to manufacture components at the company’s main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. Whereas conventional 3D printing uses a laser to build a component layer by layer from metallic powder, the binder jetting process uses an adhesive. The resulting metallic component is then heated and shaped. Using the binder jetting component reduces costs and increases productivity – for example, the components weigh only half as much as those made from sheet steel. Volkswagen is currently the only car maker using this 3D printing technology in the production process. “Despite the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re continuing to work on innovation,” says Christian Vollmer, member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand responsible for Production and Logistics. “Together with our partners, we aim to make 3D printing even more efficient in the years ahead and suitable for production-line use.”

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