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Next-Generation Vehicle Architectures Delivered by an End-to-End Digital Manufacturing System

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Divergent's technology agnostic architecture targets cost and performance objectives at a total system level - multi-objective optimized design, purpose-designed materials, additive manufacturing, and automated fixture-less assembly. Digital design based on high performance computing enables Pareto Optimization efficiency across all hard and soft constraints using ideal materials for any given application. The design is materialized and assembled at an industrial rate and cost, without design-specific tooling; this requires designing and integrating AM and Automated Assembly systems that can achieve the necessary total cost productivity. As requirements inevitably evolve, the adaptive design output can rapidly iterate to the new optima without being constrained by tooling cycle times - we will share multiple real-world examples executed in weeks to a few months, rather than years.

Divergent Technologies was founded with the vision of a clean sheet architecture, systems-level approach to a sustainable, intelligent digital manufacturing system. Our system enables novel vehicle architectures that massively decouple complexity and cost, allowing for higher performing and more functionally integrated structures. Over the next decade, the power of small teams leveraging the tools we have built will fundamentally alter the DNA of the automotive industry, and other industrial sectors in turn, driving a transformational cycle of business model adaptation and innovation. Novel ecosystem opportunities for localized production and closed-looping of material and energy are enabled, ultimately leading to a more sustainable, anti-fragile future.

It is important for practitioners to connect the technical accomplishments in AM with real business applications. This will enhance their personal effectiveness within their respective organizations and allow them to ensure that their innovations are targeted in ways that can drive change, generate value and secure organizational support.

Divergent's approach highlights and addresses a critical strategic burden in the automotive segment that is today heavily reliant on capital-intensive fixed tooling assets. In other industrial sectors, there are similar benefits to the AM unique design features such as eliminating casting tooling lead times and driving part consolidation, while enabling great complexity and performance.

Learning Objectives:

  • Deepen appreciation of AM transformational value at a system vs component level as demonstrated by a novel vehicle architecture with over 350 printed elements.
  • Understand that AM growth and scaling will require qualification of new materials, designed for the process and applications. Divergent to share examples and applications of internally developed crashworthy and high-performance aluminum alloys.
  • Contemplate AM sustainability challenges and how the full process chain needs to be addressed to minimize direct process waste, feedstock scaling, and recycling.