Truck manufacturer Renault tests a 3D printed version of the well known DTI 5 diesel engine, which is being used in the light versions of the D-Series Renault trucks. According to several sources, 3Dprinted engines are lighter and theytherefore use less fuel.
Metal 3D printing is being tested by many companies, the Renault case is just one example. The company says it is working on an additive manufacturing process that is set to improve the performance of engines. It has designed a prototype DTI 5 Euro 6c engine exclusively using 3D printing.
Renault Trucks says that with this process the team managed to reduce the weight of this 4-cylinder engine by 120 kg or 25 percent. It also reduced the number of components in the DTI 5 engine by 25 percent, reducing the number of used parts by 200.
The complete engine was already designed virtually, but rocker arms and camshaft bearing caps were manufactured by metal 3D printing and successfully bench-tested for 600 hours inside a Euro 6 engine.
For haulage companies, metal 3D printing carries a number of advantages. It allows them to optimize the overall operating costs of their vehicles as a reduction in engine volume will lead to greater payloads and lower fuel consumption.
In the short-term, this manufacturing procedure can be used for highly specific applications or small runs, the company says. Renault’s parent company Volvo has also used 3D printing in its engine production processes, cutting production time by 94 percent and reducing manufacturing costs, sources say.