3D Printing Applications that are Changing the Automotive Industry

Auto Tech Outlook | Thursday, January 07, 2021

Automakers around the world are investing heavily in 3D printing technology in order to customize seats, steering wheels, and body parts unique to a vehicle.

Fremont, CA: 3D printing in the automotive industry is still in its early stages, but it is expected to gain popularity in the coming years. According to Allied Market Research, the global automotive 3D printing industry market is expected to grow from $762 million in 2016 to $2,730 million by 2023. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has progressed from an optional piece of equipment used to create simple prototypes to a necessity across all industries in the last decade. 3D printing is a game-changer in the automotive industry because it allows for faster prototyping, shorter turnaround times, and greater flexibility. Minimizing waste and lowering production costs are two other ways 3D printing is gaining traction in the automotive industry.

Here are several applications of 3D printing transforming the automotive industry.

Customized Auto Parts

Automakers worldwide are investing heavily in 3D printing technology to customize seats, steering wheels, and body parts unique to a vehicle. The ability to design car features that meet the specific needs of consumers is critical to increasing customer satisfaction. Automakers can also use additive manufacturing to print spare and replacement parts for luxury and vintage vehicles. Finding replacement hoods for a vehicle can be difficult because of the many options available, but consumers can order replacement hoods that match their preferences. This is because 3D printing ensures effectiveness, allowing automakers to personalize car parts faster and at a lower cost.

Prototyping in the Auto Industry

Carmakers place a high value on meeting high-performance standards in areas such as security, fuel efficiency, connectivity, and aerodynamics. And the best way to achieve this goal is to use prototyping. Other advantages of prototyping in the automotive industry include shorter production times, lower manufacturing costs, and the development of innovative, lighter, and cleaner automotive designs. Automakers must use 3D printing technology to enable rapid prototyping during the pre-manufacturing phase to reap these benefits. It's worth noting that additive manufacturing, from small details printed quickly to highly detailed full-scale parts, is one of the best ways to validate prototypes. Full-scale parts are ideal for performance testing and validation.

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