Why are Automotive Manufacturers Using 3D Printing?

Auto Tech Outlook | Tuesday, December 01, 2020

The automotive manufacturers are using 3D printing because it accelerates the product development cycle.

FREMONT, CA: Success and growth rely on continuous development to stay ahead of the competition. Most of the investment is made on R&D than on advertising worldwide. But many traditional manufacturers embracing digital technologies can be a massive challenge due to significant financial issues, which are not realistic all the time, and they struggle to compete.

It is valid for the automotive industry because of the massive number of parts that are necessary for production. The big automotive manufacturers are dependent on additive manufacturing (AM) to increase the speed of the product development cycle and to decrease resources like energy and time. Additive manufacturing is also changing the automotive production environment by impacting everything, starting from R&D and supply chain to production.

Iterative Research and Development

Additive manufacturing has evolved the R&D for vehicle manufacturing as it is utilizing for decreasing the development times, enhance prototyping workflows, and deliver innovative parts that are not possible to build with traditional methods. Today, most of the auto manufacturer's first initial prototype assemble is 3D printed. A few of the most common components consist of air intakes, parts of the exhaust, and ducting. All these parts are built digitally, 3D printed and fitted on a car in short order. Then these are provided for testing through several iterations.

Avoiding Supply Chain Disruption

Maximum of the volume car manufacturers utilize just-in-time manufacturing, where vast quantities of parts arrive for the production line instantly before assembly to decrease the requirement of expensive warehouse space. AM can allow the procedure to develop production parts on-site to avoid disruptions to a manufacturer's supply chain.

Customization in the Specialty Car Industry

One of the most interesting examples of real-world part production is with the specialty car manufacturers like a sports car, hypercars, and luxury cars. Such manufacturers can produce less volume, exotic, and prestigious cars for the customers. It is because when they manufacture such unique vehicles, they also create parts of the cars that are not ordinary. During such situations, AM is utilized to develop custom spacers, grommets, and brackets. Specialized units are also made as per the requirements of the purchaser.

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