Automotive industry sheds weight for amazing Altair Enlighten Awards

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The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is over 200kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to some thoughtful design and engineering that have also garnered this ‘slimmer of the year’ with a trophy from the Full Vehicle category at the annual Altair Enlighten Awards.

Honouring the greatest achievements in vehicle weight savings each year, the awards incentivise automotive lightweighting advancements and provides a global platform to recognise and share technological achievements, with six winners from a field of 57 finalists this year.

BMW Group claimed the Module category with the first 3D printed metal component used in a production series vehicle, which captured a 44 per cent component weight savings on the 2018 BMW i8 Roadster.

Asahi Kasei Corporation’s Super Lightweight Pedal Bracket for the Mazda MX-5; Sika Automotive’s Ultra Lightweight Constrained Layer Material System, and United States Steel Corporation’s Martensitic Advanced High Strength Steel, Mart-TenTM1500 took the top honors in the Enabling Technology category.

The award for the new Future of Lightweighting category, chosen by MBS attendees, went to American Axle & Manufacturing for its Quantum Driveline Architecture program.


The General Motors team applied a multi-disciplinary optimisation CAE approach, a higher percentage of advanced high strength steels, and new assembly methods in the development of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado cab and frame to win the Full Vehicle award.

In addition to the 450 pounds (204.5 kilograms) overall weight savings, General Motors achieved 23 per cent more storage space, greater dynamic stiffness, improved corrosion prevention, better NVH performance, and increased impact protection on the 2019 Silverado.

The Module category, which focuses on vehicle systems, subsystems and components, was claimed by BMW Group for its 2018 BMW i8 Roadster metal 3D printed convertible roof bracket.

The component marks the first time a metal 3D-printed part has been used in a series production vehicle. Produced with Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology without needing any support structures, it was also the first time a topology-optimised design has been translated nearly 1:1 into a series production vehicle to capture a 44 per cent weight savings and tenfold stiffness increase.

“We were honored to receive the Altair Enlighten Award this year and would like to thank the judges for recognising the efforts of the team that worked on the i8,” said Maximilian Meixlsperger, head of Additive Manufacturing Metal at BMW Group.

“It’s clear that additive manufacturing has huge lightweight potential for vehicle designers when combined with the power of optimisation technologies.

“Getting a 3D printed part onto a mass produced vehicle would have been unheard of until very recently but with this success, we have an opportunity to make the process part of our standard design and manufacturing approach.”

“Our judging panel had a very difficult task selecting this year’s award winners among so many high quality entries,” said Richard Yen, senior vice president of global automotive and industry verticals at Altair.

“I would like to personally congratulate our award winners and thank all of our finalists and applicants for participating. It’s a rewarding experience each year to witness how simulation-driven design strategies, new materials and advanced manufacturing processes are advancing automotive lightweighting by offering new opportunities to innovate weight efficient products from the start.”

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