New 3D printer at Roush big enough to ‘print’ engine blocks

LIVONIA — Roush, the Livonia-based automotive technology provider, said it has purchased the largest powdered metal 3D printer in the world, the Xline 2000R.

The company said the machine has a “build envelope” — the cube in which three-dimensional structures can be built, one thin layer at a time — of 800 by 400 by 500 millimeters. (That’s 31.5 inches by 15.7 inches by 19.7 inches.)

The company said that size allows for “large-scale production, such as engine blocks.”

Roush officials said th ecompany has expanded its additive manufacturing capabilities with equipment to benefit multiple industries, including aerospace, automotive, defense, energy, entertainment, medical and consumer products.

“During the past year, Roush has invested millions of dollars in new additive manufacturing equipment to expand our reach into more industries,” said Dean Massab, executive vice president of business development for Roush Enterprises. “Investing in the latest additive manufacturing technology continues our commitment to innovative, high-performance solutions — from concept maturation and optimization, all the way through to hardware integration and development.”

Roush has been providing additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping services, commonly known as 3D printing, for more than 15 years. Roush’s latest investment adds new fused deposition modeling with large-frame machines from Stratasys; direct metal laser melting equipment from EOS; and capabilities in design for additive and topology optimization to its existing stereolithography, selective laser sintering and rapid prototyping services.

The company’s services that support additive manufacturing capabilities include 3D scanning; metallurgical testing and inspection; machining, fabrication and assembly; and full-spectrum design engineering. Increasing these additive manufacturing capabilities and topology optimization technologies complement other Roush offerings, such as performance testing, product design and advanced engineering.

Roush’s new 3D printing capabilities also include working with advanced materials, such as production-grade thermoplastics and carbon fiber-filled nylon material. Aerospace industry customers will benefit from Ultem materials (used in production aircraft components) with their high heat and chemical resistance, and certifications in flame, smoke and toxicity. The automotive industry will benefit from actual production material (ABS, PC, PPSF, etc.) for prototype and production parts without the need for tooling. And military and racing industry customers will benefit from the lightweight, mechanical properties of the carbon-fiber-filled nylon material for high performance components.

Also with these advanced materials, Roush can 3D print sacrificial tooling for composite components and parts. This allows for composite parts to have exotic geometries that cannot be manufactured by traditional means.

Roush is International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliant and Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) registered for tanks and military vehicles, aircraft and associated equipment, military training equipment, auxiliary military equipment, spacecraft systems and associated equipment.

Roush, a full-service product development supplier, has more than 4,000 employees located throughout North America, Europe and Asia. It provides engineering, testing, prototype and manufacturing services to the mobility industry, Roush also provides significant support to the aerospace, defense and theme park industries. Roush is a subsidiary of Roush Enterprises Inc., which is also the parent company of Roush Fenway Racing; Roush Performance, developer and manufacturer of performance vehicles and products for the automotive aftermarket; and Roush CleanTech, developer and manufacturer of alternative fuel systems for the fleet vehicle market.

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