XJet ceramic 3D printing technology used to produce ultracar engine piston


by XJet ceramic 3D printing technology has been put to use by Spyros Panopoulos Automotive (SPA) to produce an engine piston for its Chaos Ultracar.

SPA is targeting speeds of over 500 km/h and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 1.55 seconds with its Chaos Ultracar, currently under development. Around 78% of the Chaos Ultracar’s body is expected to be 3D printed, while crucial elements such as the engine block, camshaft and intake valves will also rely on additive manufacturing.

In this pursuit, SPA requires parts that are strong and sufficiently temperature resistant to cope with such high demands, while being lightweight. By implementing its proprietary “Anadiaplasi” design method for additive manufacturing – in which a component assumes its shape based on the forces acting on it – the company has developed an automotive engine piston with Nano Particle Jetting ceramic technology from XJet. With this approach, material has been minimized where it does not support performance and added where reinforcement is needed, resulting in a lightweight but strong organic shape.

In partnership with Lino 3D – XJet’s business partner in Greece – SPA has additively manufactured the Chaos Piston in XJet’s Alumina material, selected for its strength, hardness and resistance to thermal expansion.

“Ceramics offer many advantages over other materials,” commented Spyros Panopoulos, founder of SPA. “Harder and stiffer than steel, more heat and corrosion resistant than metals or polymers, and weighing significantly less than most metals and alloys. XJet’s alumina parts will withstand the high temperatures expected grow in the combustion chamber as well as on fast moving parts.XJet systems are the only ones capable of producing this ceramic part, and there is absolutely no room for error in this project.

“SPA is pushing ceramic additive manufacturing and design for additive manufacturing to the cutting edge and beyond with its work on the Chaos Ultracar,” added Haim Levi, vice president of strategic marketing for XJet. “We are extremely proud to be part of such an innovative project by offering the high level capabilities of our technology and our system. Designers and engineers from a wide range of industries and applications are exposed to new options now available to them. We expect the Project Chaos ceramic piston to spark their creativity and imagination and push the boundaries in the automotive industry and beyond.

XJet will exhibit at the next FAST + TCT event in Detroit (Stand 1301), while the 3D printed Chaos piston was shortlisted for the TCT Transport Application Award at TCT price in June.

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