Also referred to as ‘additive manufacturing’, 3D printing has come a long way since it emerged four decades ago. While the technology was originally intended to be a tool for RP (Rapid Prototyping), it now covers a diverse array of industrial applications.
The technology’s evolution has led to a drastic growth in the number of enterprises embracing and adopting it. The use cases and applications of 3D printing vary from industry to industry, but generally include functional and visual prototypes, tooling aids, and in some instances, even end-user parts.
As the number of technology’s potential application continues to rise, enterprises continue to create new opportunities and business models with 3D printing.
One industry where additive manufacturing has made a significant impact is the automotive sector. In the year 2019, global automotive additive manufacturing revenues reached a staggering $1.4 billion.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how 3D printing is benefitting manufacturers in the automotive sector.
Quicker Product Development
Prototyping has historically been a vital stage in the process of product development—especially in high-value automotive products—providing an efficient way to analyze and validate components/products before they’re put into production. Since additive manufacturing eliminates the need for tooling, manufacturers can expedite product development significantly.
Higher Design Flexibility
3D printing offers manufacturers to create physical iterations of designs quicker. This, in turn, provides designer much more flexibility in terms of trying out various design options. It also allows designers to quickly make modifications and changes in the design in a fraction of the time it would require with traditional manufacturing methods.
Additive manufacturing also provides automotive manufacturers a flexible and cost-effective way to create custom components/products. Companies operating in the motorsport and luxury segment of the industry have been utilizing 3D printing to create customized components for both, the exterior and interior components of a vehicle.
The Creation of Complex Geometries
The majority of automotive parts require complex geometries, such as fine meshes, thin walls, and internal channels (for conformal cooling). With 3D manufacturing, automakers can produce highly complex components that are still durable, lightweight, and of a high quality.
If you’re looking for 3D printing services in Grass Valley and Auburn, you can get in touch with the experts at Connekt. LLC. We offer mechanical and engineering design services, custom injection molding, custom plastic parts, finite element analysis and consulting services among others.