Autos Reviews

Beyond Prototypes – How 3D Printer is Transforming the Auto Industry

3D Printers

Chuck Hull

The arrival of 3D printer technology back in the early 1980s changes traditional manufacturing from its head. Chuck Hull, inventor of the first 3D printer knew that would be impacted at every manufacturing process.

Recently, the auto industry Conceding the potential of this technology. Over the past 3 decades, the use of 3D printers in car manufacturing has transformed the way cars are made, from prototype to production.

3D Printer

The combination of the latest computerized controls and advanced material with innovative manufacturing methods all together play a vital role in today’s technology.

Image source Flicker

How Does the Automotive Industry Benefit from 3D Printing Technologies?

Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing is known as additive manufacturing (AM), 3D printing is a cost-effective method. 3D printing reduces the obstacles of Engineering, and all processes become faster as imagination. including:

  • Prototypes
  • Tools
  • Dies
  • Molds
  • Jigs
  • Fixtures
  • Low-volume and custom parts

Because the 3D printing process builds layer by layer, structure. by this waste of material is almost ended and the product becomes easily finalize. 3D printing technology has a lot of environmental benefits, also it reduces industrial wastage at each part of the production.

Benefits the auto manufacturing industry

A lot of other benefits combined in 3D printing models such as reduce designing cost, fast drafting, and many types of modifications in seconds. The specific project share with other members in different countries and know about the valuable viewpoint. A large amount of logistic cost saves in means of money and time as well.

With the passage of time 3D printing now used for durable, powerful, and thermally stable high-quality performance, and modern material, quality-oriented parts are now being printed on-demand.

When it comes to advanced customization and the production of parts for the restoration of older vehicles, 3D printing is a dream come true. It is very costly to tool up for parts that won’t necessarily advance to mass production, The advancement of old tools according to modern times with low cost.

Types of 3D Printing Used in Car Manufacturing

Although based on the same concept of additive manufacturing, there are actually seven methods of 3D printing currently used in manufacturing. These include:

  1. Stereolithography (SLA)
  2. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  3. Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
  4. Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  5. Selective laser melting (SLM)
  6. Digital Beam Melting (EBM)
  7. Laminated object manufacturing (LOM)

Also called SLA 3D printing, stereolithography is the oldest method of 3D printing and is still used today. Stereolithography uses a process of solidifying photosensitive liquid resin with a high-powered laser, resulting in the solid 3D product.

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is another popular 3D printing method, where high-powered lasers are used to fuse small particles of a substrate such as nylon, glass, ceramic or even some metals.

3D printing in the auto industry heavily relies on these two manufacturing methods. Small car parts such as vent covers and other elements that don’t require extreme stability and strength may be manufactured using stereolithography, while parts requiring advanced functionality as nylon will allow would use the method of selective laser sintering.

While the other 3D printing technologies are used and new methods are being developed, these tried and true technologies have proven to be reliable enough for the demanding auto industry applications currently being utilized.

Will 3D Printing Be the Driving Force in Future Automotive Manufacturing?

The current obstacles of 3D printing for mass production of major components of car manufacturing like slow production times, inadequate base materials, and reliance on human design input are being worked on.

Early adopters of 3D printing like the Fiat Chrysler Group, Volkswagen Group, and the Ford Motor Company are all optimistic about where additive manufacturing will go from here.

Exciting new 3D printers like HP’s Metal Jet with the ability to manufacture complex metal parts never before possible are opening new doors to mass production for automotive applications.

As artificial intelligence (AI) progresses, we may soon see these obstacles removed from the 3D printing equation. Innovative new designs will be developed to eliminate antiquated mechanical designs and create new designs that work better within the constraints of 3D printing abilities for a superior end product.

Of course, as 3D technology is more widely adopted, costs will likely come down. More highly-trained individuals will enter the field, making talent easier to acquire. With a wider user base, innovations will skyrocket.