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June 2017: Daan A.J. Kersten, Co-Founder/CEO, Additive Industries, and Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber F1 Team CEO and Team Principal, who has since left the company [Image: Additive Industries]

Last summer, Dutch 3D printing company Additive Industries announced a three-year technology partnership with Switzerland-based Sauber F1 Team, which became the launching customer for the MetalFAB1 Process & Application Development Tool. The Sauber F1 Team had already been using 3D printing for over a decade, working extensively with polymer materials, and determined that the next logical step would be to move into metals.

The original 3D printers that Sauber invested in were upgraded later to full-size, integrated multi-material MetalFAB1 systems for series production. Per the terms of the partnership, Additive Industries worked with Sauber F1 Team to help with the learning curve and to build up capacity, as Sauber 3D prints components for its race cars and also for unnamed third-party applications.

Recently, the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team received and installed its third MetalFAB1 system in a year, and also expanded its second one, to increase its productivity, by adding an additional build chamber, or Additive Manufacturing Core, as it’s also called.

Additionally, Additive Industries and the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team announced that they would be extending their existing three-year technology partnership to five years. The announcement was made, fittingly, at the start of the Formula 1 race event in Austin, Texas today. The company is also the team’s race partner in Austin, and its logo was featured on the top of the sidepod of both C37s.

“We are pleased to be extending our current partnership with Additive Industries, and to introduce a third MetalFAB1 3D printing system to our facilities,” said Frédéric Vasseur, the Team Principal for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team and the CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG. “Not only do we aim to develop our production of parts for Formula One further, but we are also expanding our competences and activity in our third-party businesses. Building on the successful collaboration we have had so far, we look forward to working with Additive Industries and making further progress in our shared projects.”

3D printing is already used often in the fast-paced world of Formula One racing, so this partnership makes a lot of good business sense for both Additive Industries and the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

“After an in depth evaluation of all systems we found Additive Industries’ MetalFAB1 to be the only true industrial system available on the market,” said Christoph Hanson, the Head of Technical Development at Sauber Engineering AG. “Their level of integration and automation allowed us to implement the technology very fast and with only a small team of experts. Moreover, the MetalFAB1 system is easy to use and has high consistency across the build chambers and between systems, this allows us to schedule the workload flexibly over the 3 systems.”

[Image: Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team]

“For Additive Industries, this partnership extension with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team confirms the acceleration in industrial additive manufacturing that we are aiming for,” said Daan Kersten, CEO of Additive Industries. “Repeat sales in such a short time are the best compliment for our team, both for the system design and 3D metal printing process but also for our customer support team which works closely with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team to reach the highest productivity in the market today. We are both proud and grateful for such a partnership.”

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Sources: Additive Industries, Sauber F1 Team]
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