Electric motors are becoming extremely popular in the automotive world, with companies all over the world vying for a cut of the EV pie.
And with such demand, comes technology. Motors themselves haven’t evolved much in design, fundamentally, given that they were first invented, but innovations in manufacturing lately have spurred electric motor designers to use new methods in search of performance increases and weight reduction.
We have seen a few types of experts and companies applying AM to electric motor production. One of the most visible cases is the 3D branded copper motor coil from German company Additive Drives.
Researchers from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, UK, have been recently focusing on development of a electric motor with even more 3D imprinted components, specifically with 3D branded cooling systems.
A lot of the task has been focused on expanding workflows and assessing both the complex readiness level (TRL) as well as the making readiness level (MRL) of the job.
You can view one of the 3D branded motors in the image below. Notice the fluid inlet/electric outlet and criss-crossed cooling programs in the casing.
By utilizing liquid cooling programs into the electric motor casing, the engine was shown to produce more vitality without overheating, and benefit from a weight keeping of 10%, and size reduced amount of 30%.
“The introduction of electric motors hasn’t seen this degree of focus for nearly 100 years despite being high on the priority list for many industry areas that are seeking significant improvements in expense, quality, consistency and performance, in both gravimetric and volumetric terms,” said Steve Nesbitt, Key Technologist at MTC.
“Systems anatomist and integration – doing more with key components and materials – are fundamental to obtaining this therefore additive processing is a key enabler for expanding complicated features and forms, essential to enhancing the features and performance of electric motors, with singular and multi-materials alternatives.”
The procedure of processing electric motors has lots of obstacles to overcome; complicated or manual set up, materials that are difficult to process and can be exceptional and/or expensive, thermal management and lightweighting.
The imprinted motor casing task has demonstrated a number of benefits including, increased engine vitality density, reduced part count up, increased making efficiency and reduced lead times, lower working costs and misuse lowering. Whew!
In a nutshell, the results up to now have enabled MTC and their acquaintances to develop a roadmap and examine the DfM/DfA for the introduction of 3D published motors and also have identified regions of research that should be centered on.
You can read more in what the MTC are doing at this hyperlink.