3D Printing in Automotive: A Metamorphosis Ahead

3D Printing

3D Printing

3D Printing

As it requires intensive labor, automobile manufacturing needed a change. Then comes, 3D printing paving the way for smarter additive manufacturing. Discover its benefits, applications, and real samples of 3D printed projects in this article.

Meet the Tech Behind Automotive Industry

3D printing in the automotive industry was originally utilized to create rapid prototypes of car parts. It was initially used to check on the form and fit of each of the carmakers’ creations. Now, 3D printing technology has developed expansively creating better quality parts.

  • 3D Printed End-use Car Parts
  • Because of the fast innovation of the 3D printing industry, automakers started to discover that it can now also be officially used not only for creating prototypes but to create an actual car part that can help make their automobile functional and more efficient. Some automotive industry players that are utilizing this technology are Volkswagen, BMW, and Ford.

  • Reliable Materials for Car Parts
  • 3D printing in automotive became popular for many car brands as it can help them produce detailed and high-performing auto parts with a fast turnaround time. It also helps streamline the production process as it allows companies to have continuous production even without external suppliers.

Advantages of 3d Printing in Automotive Industry

Powering innovation in the automotive industry, 3D printing provides many benefits for all carmakers in terms of producing auto parts that are necessary for making a vehicle functional or aesthetic. Yes, you read it right! It can also be used for aesthetic purposes. Find out more about its advantages:

1. Improves Efficiency in Manufacturing Parts

For any business, the manufacturing process is always an essential stage. So, finding an efficient technique to produce the general car parts you need at a faster time can be truly beneficial to your venture. Creating a 3D printed auto part will only take you a few days from making the 3D design to printing and post-processing it.

What if you already have the 3D design and just need it to be 3D printed? Lucky you, it will make the process faster as you can 3D print the parts you need as many as you need 24/7.

2. Phased Out Parts Becomes Available

The availability of spare parts has always been an issue in the automotive industry. Since the technology in the car business also innovates fast, the main issue arises—the availability of spare parts of a specific car model.

When industry players launch new technology, the tendency is that many will also stop manufacturing the older types of car parts. There are even parts that no longer exist in the market. This makes 3D printing in automotive a more reliable and beneficial solution to the problem.

3D printing companies can create a 3D model of the auto part you need through 2 options:

  • By 3D designing it from scratch; or
  • By 3D scanning the existing part you have and then do reverse engineering

3. Aids in Tooling and Manufacturing

3D printing allows rapid prototyping, automotive engineers make use of tooling and manufacturing aids to simplify the creation process. This part of the operation saves on overhead. Prototypes can be made in only a few hours. Not only that as it can also help cut costs big time compared to that of other vendors and suppliers.

Another benefit of 3D printing in automotive is that it allows you to test the 3D printed part if it matches the requirements well. If not, the service provider can easily create a better version of it that will fit exactly your needs.

4. Simplifies Custom and Complex Auto Parts

Industry players and even other brands will always find ways to innovate and create something new and unique that could allow you to be at the top of the game. Fortunately, 3D printing makes it possible and easier for you.

With 3D printing, you can produce custom parts at a more affordable cost. No matter how complex the design is, additive manufacturing can do it.

Applications of 3D Printing in the Automotive Industry

3D printing can be used in many areas of the automotive business, however, in most cases, it’s not applicable to all types of car parts. It is mostly restricted to parts that are not truly functional or parts that are not engines or machines.

To make help you see more of it clearly, here are core applications of additive manufacturing in the automotive industry:

1. Air and fluid handling

2. Body interior and trim

3. Energy and fluid management (metals)

4. Metal structural components

5. Manufacturing aids

6. Underhood/Powertrain

7. Metal durable tooling

8. Body exterior and panel

If what you need isn’t a part of the list, you may ask a 3D printing service provider to check if it’s possible to create the part you need through the additive manufacturing process.

Real Samples of 3D Printing in Automotive

With the great benefits of 3D printing in automotive, many of the big players have started to utilize it for their recent projects. Here is a list of some of the real examples of promising projects you can search the net for:

1. Porsche’s 3D-printed custom seats

2. Automotive brackets

3. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 parts

4. Volkswagen Autoeuropa: 3D-printed manufacturing tools

5. Cadillac Blackwing V-Series’ Ducts and brackets

6. Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged’s Brake ducts and switch holders

Wrapping Up

The 3D printing industry has proven its value for car businesses more than just being a technique to create prototypes. As the technology grows and continuously innovates, the trend will continue and the demand will increase which will surely open doors for greater opportunities and innovation.

Looking for a reliable 3D printing company to cater to your car part requirements? Talk to us and let’s make your processes more time and cost-efficient with 3D printing in automotive.