As car manufacturers come up with new ways and means to fabricate the materials they need and thus facilitate more expeditious production of complex shapes, forms, and configurations, vehicles in the auto market will become even more efficient, more powerful, more comfortable, and more stylish.
Not to mention, these vehicles take pride in their cutting-edge safety features, which would not have been possible without the manufacturing innovations they use. But incorporating 3D printing can take that to another level.
3D printing continues to advance the march of progress, benefitting even the automotive industry. This is proven by the 3D printing market value, which is now reaching a whopping amount of $2.5 billion.
Let’s delve into how the car industry uses 3D printing services to advance its interests and what direction it is heading into the future.
Manufacturing aids such as jigs and fixtures can be made with the help of 3D printing services in the automotive sector. Compromising on geometry trickles down into both less effective manufacturing processes and increased constraints on the end-use part’s geometry.
3D printed manufacturing tools are beneficial because additive manufacturing systems can help make them become even more ergonomic and lightweight. This facilitates greater efficiency among factory workers when carrying out their work duties. Besides, the new method significantly slashes down factory floor costs.
New Components Prototyping
Automobile manufacturers have been utilizing 3D printing, otherwise known as additive manufacturing, to validate the fit and form of functional prototypes as well as to substantiate their functions.
For functional areas demanding smoother surfaces or tougher parts, such as aerodynamic components or parts, resin & powder-based technologies compatible with nylon materials and composites are more favored. Material jetting and 3-dimensional inkjet printing are often used to develop full miniatures and display models.
End-Use Parts Fabricating
While manufacturing speed continues to improve with additive manufacturing, it remains a bottleneck for the technology. Automobile manufacturing requires a high volume of production, amounting to tens of thousands of runs for each component.
That would be challenging for the majority of AM technologies to maintain (for now). However, many builders of luxury cars limit their production runs only to a few thousand units and deliberately veer away from going beyond that. Because of the scenario we just described, 3D printing services have become a much more viable option.
Nothing is more opulent than the Rolls Royce. They create custom cars that take almost forever to build. This is the very reason why the company is opting to take advantage of additive manufacturing as one of their last-ditch efforts to increase production in less time than they normally would.
3D Printed Cars and their Future
At the rate things are going now for the automotive industry, we will eventually see and drive a fully 3D printed car in the not so distant future. A handful of breakthroughs and innovations would be necessary to see this accomplished. Automotive manufacturing companies are currently working round the clock on this by developing the first 3D printed batteries. As far as 3D printed electronics are concerned, they are making good progress nowadays.
If the time comes that we’ve mastered how to go about 3D printing motors and magnets, take that as a sure sign that we are almost right there. Assembly automation for various printed components and parts, by then, will be the last remaining hurdle that we have.