LOS ANGELES & LÜBECK, Germany—Divergent 3D recently announced that it has entered into a strategic development partnership with SLM Solutions Group, a manufacturer of 3D metal printing equipment. SLM Solutions Group will work closely with Divergent to develop specific hardware and software to accelerate scaling of the patented Divergent Manufacturing Platform™ for cost-effective, high-volume production of vehicles. This includes the development of 3D metal printing machines that will be incorporated into Divergent’s advanced manufacturing platform.
Divergent 3D has invented a patented software-hardware platform that is enabled by 3D metal printing and is said to radically transform the economics and environmental impact of designing and manufacturing complex structures, such as cars. SLM Solutions Group is engaged in the development, production, and distribution of selective laser melting systems, which create three-dimensional objects from metal powders.
Additive manufacturing has long been used throughout the auto industry for small-scale pilot programs focused on developing individual 3D printed components for production. Divergent 3D and SLM Solutions, in contrast, are partnering to transform the process of designing and manufacturing overall vehicle structures. The objective is to build lighter, structurally safe, more cost-efficient, and environmentally responsible automobiles.
“We are very impressed by the rapid development and implementation of Divergent 3D’s technology in the automotive sector,” said Hans-Joachim Ihde, chairman of the supervisory board and founder of SLM Solutions Group, in a press release. “By working together with Divergent, we can help to provide manufacturers with the tools to build more profitable, innovative, and environmentally sustainable vehicles while dramatically reducing manufacturing capital cost and providing almost unlimited design flexibility.”
Kevin Czinger, founder and CEO of Divergent 3D, called SLM Solutions Group “a powerful, long-term strategic partner” that will work with Divergent 3D to provide 3D metal printing hardware and software specific to the Divergent Manufacturing Platform™. “We believe that this will transform the way vehicle structures are designed, engineered, manufactured, and assembled,” he said in the release.
Divergent 3D closed a $23 million Series A funding round, led by technology venture capital fund Horizon ventures, earlier this year. The company will apply the money toward commercializing its hardware-software platform. Divergent 3D’s strategic partner, the automotive and aerospace engineering services provider Altran, also invested in the round. The funding followed the launch of a strategic partnership with European automaker PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroen & DS) to build full vehicle structures using Divergent 3D’s manufacturing platform.