Technological advancements and innovations have transformed the automotive industry. Manufacturers and designers utilize cutting-edge technologies to streamline production processes, increase value and reduce costs and environmental hazards.
Additive manufacturing is one of those cutting-edge technologies that has changed the automotive industry landscape. It started as a piece of equipment to produce simple prototypes but has now evolved into a necessity. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is expected to generate billions of revenue in the coming years, $9 billion, to be exact. Here’s how it offers value to the industry:
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing helps speed up prototyping, facilitating the automotive design process.
Designers in the automotive industry use scale prototypes to share ideas and test aerodynamics, fit, and performance. Prototypes help them compare different versions, identify issues, improve aesthetics, and refine products according to performance requirements.
Additive manufacturing enables designers to produce several 3D printed prototypes. This reduces the iterations required before final production, speeding up the overall process. 3D printing can also help product teams to create on-site prototypes of thermoforming tools, fixtures, molds, etc.
Simplifying Supply Chain
Automotive manufacturers outsource several parts, that’s why their supply chains are quite complex. They need multiple remote warehouses to have replacement parts readily available. Some of these parts with low-demand discontinue, causing many losses for the company.
With additive manufacturing, automotive companies can simplify their supply chain by printing components on demand near the assembly facility. This minimizes waste, downtime, and shipping and operational costs.
Automotive manufacturing allows manufacturers to utilize tools like topology optimization and lattice generation. These tools help reduce the weight of complex and heavy components without sacrificing functionality. Most vehicles use heavy and bulky components that consume more fuel and release more emissions. With 3D printing, manufacturers can create lightweight parts and enhance the performance of vehicles.
Producing Customized Parts
With 3D printing, designers and manufacturers produce customized parts that increase productivity and serve end-users better than mass-produced parts. For example, they can use additives to create one-of-a-kind parts of vintage cars, personalized aesthetic components, or any part based on the driver’s needs.
At Connekt LLC, we produce 3D-printed prototypes for companies in Grass Valley. Besides rapid prototyping services, we also offer electro-mechanical packaging, custom injection molding, and many other engineering design services with precision. This helps companies reduce working costs, enhance product quality, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction. Request a quote or contact us for details.