A couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to talk with Kevin Czinger, CEO of Divergent 3D, the company behind the world’s first 3D printed supercar. Czinger told us about Divergent 3D’s recently established partnership with automotive manufacturer and solutions provider PSA Group, a long-term agreement aimed at making automotive manufacturing more efficient through 3D printing technology. At that time, Czinger mentioned another strategic partnership with engineering and R&D services leader Altran, and today the two companies formally announced that they will be working together to speed the implementation and licensing of Divergent 3D’s manufacturing platform across North America.
In addition to investing in Divergent 3D, Altran offers the benefits of their many existing partnerships with automotive companies, which will help Divergent to accelerate the commercialization and adoption of their Divergent Manufacturing Platform, a software and hardware platform that utilizes metal 3D printing technology in the manufacture of automobiles. The technology has shown itself to be capable of reducing the vehicle structure weight of a standard five-passenger car by over 50 percent, as well as reducing the number of parts per vehicle by over 75 percent.
In addition, Divergent 3D’s platform can reduce upfront capital cost and associated factory costs needed for hard metal tooling and stamping equipment by ten times or more. With the reduced costs, time, and environmental impact the Divergent Manufacturing Platform offers, it shouldn’t be a hard sell for automotive manufacturers.
“Altran’s world-class engineering expertise and comprehensive approach to creating the vehicle of the future are an ideal match for our technology,” said Czinger. “Our planet-saving manufacturing approach provides a complete technology platform that dramatically reduces per-vehicle and upfront capital costs as well as environmental impact. Altran and Divergent 3D can help automakers across North America quickly develop new, much more efficient vehicles at lower volumes than was economically viable in the past, helping to spark a new era of automotive innovation.”
Altran, whose corporate headquarters are based in France, benefits from the partnership through an increased presence in the United States market. Last year, the company announced the Altran 2020. Ignition plan, an aggressive initiative aimed at becoming the world leader in engineering and R&D services by 2020. The US was one of the key markets identified as an area for significant growth, and the automotive market should play a large part in meeting that target – especially as automotive manufacturing shifts into new technology.
“By teaming up with Divergent 3D, Altran takes a step to further develop its presence in the United States, which is a priority market for the Group, as part of the Altran 2020. Ignition strategic plan. Divergent 3D is a like-minded critical thinker who is as focused as we are on addressing and managing complexity for clients,” said Rob Vatter, CEO of Altran North America. “The dramatic transformation the auto industry is facing must take into consideration not only how to leverage disruptive innovation, but also how to reduce the capital required to bring connected and intelligent vehicles to market. This partnership will address both considerations by streamlining the process of creating and integrating complex systems that will make up the cars of the near and distant future. At the same time, Divergent 3D’s platform will help us optimize our customers’ value chains by lowering costs and speeding up development timelines.”
The first major automotive manufacturer to implement the Divergent Manufacturing Platform was Peugeot Citroën, part of the PSA Group.