Highly Electrified Vehicle System Development Using Additive Manufacturing Technology

NCMS Project #: 142030

Problem: Currently, the technology used to develop electric and hybrid electric vehicular systems is done using discrete components/subsystems as separate entities (i.e. primarily power electronics, electrical machines, gear train, thermal management) that involve electrical and mechanical connections between them.  This process can be subject to multiple points of failure due to each` component or subsystem having multiple connections.  An improved methodology can be used to develop the above subsystems by using additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing technology.

Benefit: This emerging technology is a dual use technology as it can be used for both military and commercial applications.  The technology can be used in automotive, and can be applied to other industries as well, wherever electric drives and power electronics are involved.  It can also be utilized to simplify the manufacturing process of complex, multiple-part assemblies that have traditionally used numerous parts that are fabricated, then final assembled as a separate process, oftentimes in a completely separate facility.

Solution/Approach: This initiative will demonstrate the capability to manufacture complex parts using innovative technologies and processes.  The overall intent of this initiative is to advance the state of AM and 3D printing with focus on the development of individual components using the technologies as applicable followed by testing:

  • Printed electronics for novel semiconductor circuits and sensors with emphasis on high power electronics.
  • Magnetic gear system (passive) to replace the conventional mechanical planetary or any other gear system.
  • Axial flux permanent magnet (PM) machine for propulsion.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Seamless fabrication of parts
  • Better reliability due to less points of failure
  • Easy maintenance
  • Fewer replacement parts
  • Smaller size
  • Less weight
  • Lower cost
  • Improve warfighter readiness

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC)

Industry Participation:

  • Eaton Corporation
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Obsolescence management and continued maintenance capability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Improved readiness
  • Energy efficiency
  • Lightweighting

Focus Area:

  • Additive manufacturing