The Divergent company successfully raised $160 million in funding last week, which should allow it to continue creating automotive parts using additive manufacturing. It should be remembered that it has developed a software solution and an automated assembly system, called the Divergent Adaptive Production System , to design almost all the components of a car. She chose the NXG XII 600 machine from SLM Solutions as a metal 3D printer ; the fundraising carried out should enable it to increase its manufacturing capacities and open new factories in the United States and Europe from 2024.
If the name Divergent means something to you, it’s because the company is one of the first to have developed a solution for designing 3D printed car frames. In 2015, the young Californian shoot presented Blade, a concept car incorporating an ultra-light chassis designed using carbon tubes attached to each other by means of 3D printed fasteners. Some time later, the startup signed a strategic partnership with Peugeot and raised its first million dollars. Since then, she has not been idle and has set herself even more ambitious goals.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard of Divergent. She dedicated herself to the development of a solution to develop custom automotive parts by combining generative design and additive manufacturing. According to the company, it is “ a complete modular digital factory for complex structures . » which is the subject of 500 patents. The software is able to understand the volume of the part, where it needs to be fixed in the car and what loads it has to tolerate. Depending on these constraints, the software optimizes the weight, resistance and cost of the model which can then be printed. A powder bed laser fusion machine was chosen, more specifically six NXG XII 600 3D printers.
Once the part is ready, it is assembled autonomously, reducing manufacturing times and human intervention. Lukas Czinger, senior vice president of Divergent, adds, “ This is an entirely new production system that we created from scratch. If your cost or mass target changes, your design volume changes, or you want to quickly introduce a variant to your car, we can design, print and assemble that new model within days.
For now, Divergent explains that it is focusing on sports and high-end cars, a segment that is more economically attractive than mainstream vehicles. Divergent Founder and CEO Kevin Czinger “ concludes, “ This funding represents a resounding confirmation of our disruptive nature in the automotive manufacturing industry, which truly hasn’t seen such a revolution since Henry Ford pioneered point the assembly line, more than 100 years ago . Of great importance, given the global focus on sustainability, DAPS is planet-saving manufacturing in that it drastically reduces life cycle environmental impact by maximizing total efficiency. of the vehicle. According to Divergent, the DAPS solution is currently used by 8 car manufacturers, which it should reveal at the end of the year.