3D printing in the automotive industry is still in its infancy stage, but it’s expected to gain much attention in the coming years. According to Allied Market Research, the global automotive 3D printing industry market size is projected to reach $2,730 million by 2023, from $762 million in 2016. In the last decade, 3D printing or additive manufacturing has evolved from an optional piece of equipment used to produce simple prototypes to a necessity across all industries. 3D printing is a game-changer in the automobile sector, as it guarantees fast prototyping, reduces turnover time, and increases flexibility. Minimizing wastage and cutting production costs are other ways 3D printing is solidifying itself in automotive.
Below are several applications of 3D printing transforming the automotive industry.
Prototyping in the auto industry
Achieving high-performance standards linked to security, fuel efficiency, connectivity, and aerodynamics is a top priority for carmakers. And the best way to accomplish this goal is by adopting prototyping. Other benefits of implementing prototyping in the automotive industry include short production time, reduced manufacturing costs, and the creation of innovative, lighter, and clean automotive designs. However, auto manufacturers need to leverage 3D printing technology to allow rapid prototyping in the pre-manufacturing phase to enjoy these perks. It’s worth noting that additive manufacturing is one of the best ways to validate prototypes, from small details printed quickly to highly detailed full-scale parts. The full-scale parts tend to be suitable for performance testing and validation.
Personalized auto parts
Automakers worldwide invest highly in 3D printing technology to customize seats, steering wheels, and body parts specific to a vehicle. The ability to create car features that fit the unique needs of consumers is key to increasing consumer satisfaction. With the help of additive manufacturing, automakers can also print spare and replacement parts of luxury and vintage automobiles. According to automobile advice on 4x4Reports.com, finding replacement hoods for your vehicle can be daunting due to the many options available, but consumers can order replacement hoods that match their preferences. That’s because 3D printing guarantees effectiveness, allowing carmakers to personalise car parts faster and at affordable rates.
Premanufacturing sampling and tooling
3D printing experts consider this application as one of the most promising in the automotive sector. When automakers harness the power of 3D printing, they can make thermoforming tools and moulds, boost the production of jigs, grips, and fixtures. Moreover, additive manufacturing cuts sampling and tooling costs, thus eliminating future losses in automobile manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is becoming increasingly popular in the auto industry, and for good reasons. By leveraging this technology, carmakers can prototype automobile designs to enhance connectivity, fuel efficiency, and security performance. 3D printing also paves the way for auto part customisation and reduces the cost of sampling and tooling.
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