Will the automotive industry eventually move to 100% 3D printing?
In the last few years, 3D printing in auto manufacturing has been mostly employed by carmakers to make automobile prototypes for testing their design and form. Do you think it is still the case? What are the other possible applications of 3D printing technology that could be beneficial to the industry?
The self-driven and electric cars are already an aspect of our lives, along with cloud-to-car mapping and monitoring of driver behaviour systems that drivers and insurance businesses admire. The ever-changing economic landscape and the ever-changing demands of consumers have automakers looking for new possibilities and new materials to keep pace with other sectors. This is a situation where they need for change breeds the need for innovation.
This article will discuss how 3D printing and its advancements “have transformed the potential ways in which automotive products are designed, developed, manufactured and distributed.”
The Impact of 3D Printing On the Industry So Far
To fully comprehend the direction that 3D printing is currently taking, it is necessary to reflect on the accomplishments it has made to date. As of the end of the year, the primary application of 3D printing in the automobile manufacturing industry was to create prototypes of parts and complete cars to test how they fit together.
In the beginning, constraints on materials and limitations in the 3D printing technology itself gave the ability to create intricate and often beautiful designs for parts; however, they were extremely fragile and not appropriate for the application.
Now, fast forward to 2022, and 3D printing companies like Massivit3D has game-changing developments such as Fused Filament Fabrication that utilizes one continuous filament for printing, resulting in exceptional material strength. With advances like those mentioned above, the 3D printer offers more reliable methods to produce durable components. It can now support the manufacturing of automotive parts better than before.
What Does the Future Hold?
For the purpose of answering the will the automotive industry be able to transition to 100% 3D printing? First, consider what the future holds regarding 3D printing in the automotive industry.
Major manufacturers are likely to develop a hybrid manufacturing process that blends certain 3D printing techniques with traditional manufacturing methods in the next few years. As time passes, the proportion of 3D printed vehicles will grow as technology advances, and designers discover the best way to use this technology.
3D printing is ideally suited to create the car’s aesthetic features, including interior and body panels. They allow for a broad range of customization and offer more potential for user input than functional parts like engine components.
Thus, providing customers with semi-personalized vehicles built around the same mass-produced chassis. Manufacturers of cars like Ford have already begun preliminary tests of these procedures.
Extreme customization poses issues with security, fuel economy, and road safety. Giving customizations by the end-user the same legal rights as modifications made by aftermarket vendors might be an option. If you decide to install shark fins on your vehicle, you may need to sign a waiver discharging the manufacturer of any liability.
The Advantages and Applications of 3D Printing
Currently, 3D scale models printed on paper are widely used in the auto industry. The only difference today is that 3D printed models are also the preferred method to make aerodynamic models instead of the clay castings used in the past. They also have a solid base in pre-production thanks to the low-cost production of fixtures and tools that ensure minimal loss once they’re put into production. Additionally, it permits the production of low-cost equipment and accessories.
The primary benefit that 3D printing offers is the significant cost reduction in prototyping, pre-production, and even the production of components. The less focus on creating models for working can result in a more focused concentration on actual production, making the process more efficient, faster, and more affordable.
Tools and equipment made by 3D printing are lighter and more comfortable too. Based on the speed at which 3D printing technology is growing, it is likely to see an increase in the cost of luxury automobiles like SUVs shortly.