How is 3D printing used in the automotive industry?
As in many other industries, a very important part of the automotive industry is prototyping and validation. 3D printing can be used for prototyping in the pre-production phase.
Fixtures and Production Samples
3D printing can be used to make molds and thermoforming tools, and to rapidly manufacture grips and fixtures. This allows automakers to produce prototypes and tooling at low cost and reduce trial costs when producing high cost tooling.
3D printing technology is widely used for automotive modifications. Applying 3D printing technology to the automotive modification process not only saves the process of tooling development, but also reduces time and capital investment. 3D printing is well suited for making one-off parts at a much lower cost than traditional methods, including injection molding or CNC, which can help automakers control expenses.
Concept Car Design
Due to the excellent surface detail and accurate reproduction of 3D printing technology, it is often used in the automotive industry to display models of new and concept cars. The car models are also used for aerodynamic testing.
How 3D printing is changing the automotive industry?
3D Printing solutions for the automotive industry can be easily evaluated based on performance characteristics. 3D printing can replace expensive CNC production with long lead times. 3D printed plastic parts are cheaper and have shorter production times. This means lower production costs, especially when dealing with the manufacture of complex bodies.
In the automotive industry, 3D printing assists designers in trying multiple options for the same details and iterations during the development phase of a new model. It brings greater flexibility, resulting in efficient designs and the option to make changes to the design throughout the model evaluation process. This helps automakers keep up with market demand and stay ahead of the curve in the field.