Electric motors are becoming very popular in the automotive world, with companies all around the globe vying for a slice of the EV pie.
And with such demand, comes innovation. Motors themselves haven’t changed much in design, fundamentally, since they were first invented, but advances in manufacturing of late have spurred motor designers to apply new methods in pursuit of performance gains and weight reduction.
We have seen a few examples of researchers and companies applying AM to electric motor production. One of the more visible examples is the 3D printed copper motor coil from German company Additive Drives.
Researchers from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, UK, have recently been working on development of a motor with even more 3D printed components, in particular with 3D printed cooling systems.
Much of the project has been focused on developing workflows and assessing both the technical readiness level (TRL) as well as the manufacturing readiness level (MRL) of the project.
You can see one of the 3D printed motors in the image below. Note the fluid inlet/outlet and criss-crossed cooling channels in the casing.