3D printing has established a strong foothold in the automotive industry — but until now, not so much directly in electric motors.
Additive Drives emerged just three months ago and is targeting copper 3D printing in one specific application, they explain: “electric motors with the highest degree of efficiency.”
Selective laser melting using copper can, the young German company has found, lead to 100% electrical conductivity “in accordance with IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard, 58 MS / m).”
“With the 3D printing of electric motor components, we are starting a new era of efficiency in electric motors. The focus is on copper windings, the main component of every electric motor. The simplified production — directly from the designer’s CAD data — enables shorter development and test cycles,” Additive Drives explains.
“The drive tasks of the future — whether in industry or traffic — place high demands on the individual components. The manufacture of copper coils using 3D printing achieves higher performance and efficiency. The higher copper content in the electric motor reduces losses and improves the thermal coupling of the winding.”
A racing benchmark was found to show a 45% performance increase using their technology.
Copper 3D printing with specialized electrochemical post-processing for the preferred surface roughness, along with electrical insulation, offers what the company says is an improved connection between the winding and the laminated core.
“Since our foundation in July 2020 we have successfully entered the automotive market,” Additive Drives CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Jakob Jung says. “Our vision is to halve the development time for electric motors and to expand our technological leadership in additive-manufactured electric motors.”
Additive Drives Investment
To date, Additive Drives has seen support from “TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Saxeed and other universities and established commercial enterprises.” This support from industry and research institutions offers a foundation of credible technology — and a scalable future.
Now to that support, the company is adding a $1.5 million seed funding round from AM Ventures.
“Additive manufacturing is becoming more mature and is increasingly opening up applications that are revolutionizing entire industries. Additive Drives is a perfect example of this,” says Arno Held, Chief Venture Officer at AM Ventures. “With dramatically accelerated development times and massive improvements in weight, volume and performance, this product will contribute to electrifying not only motor sports, aviation and micro-mobility.”
If AM Ventures’ name sounds familiar — well, at this point it really should.
The German venture capital firm includes more than a dozen companies on three continents to help drive — and fund — the next stages of additive manufacturing. The company’s roots trace back to EOS in 2015.
Among some of the 3D printing companies and their recent funding rounds AM Ventures has helped along are:
- DyeMansion — Seed, Series A, and Series B
- LightForce Orthodontics — Series B
- 3YOURMIND — Seed, Series A, Series A+
For its part, Additive Drives is set to drive its technologies forward with its new funding. The company explains:
“The financing round is intended to further advance the market launch. In addition to scaling the business in the area of prototyping, high-performance series applications are also to be enabled.”
Those objectives are pretty standard for any investing announcement, so we’ll wait to see what comes from this copper-focused startup. It’s a unique take on copper 3D printing, at any rate, with a promising showing already for automotive applications, so definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Via Additive Drives