In 2015, the annual Wohler’s report has informed people that the automotive industry shared about 16.1 percent of the AM expenditure pie. And that includes 3D printed car accessories, 3D printed car parts, 3D printed car prototypes and many others.
According to Deloitte, 3D printing in the automotive industry started like in every other industry, in prototyping products. However, the trajectory is changing, just like in other industries. Manufacturing car parts and accessories are seen as a great possibility and would lead to better distribution with less waste.
Davide Ferrulli, Stratasys Italy-based territory manager has said that he is surprised that their customers are finding new ways to incorporate 3D printing into their products and prototypes. Stratasys customers include the world’s largest automotive manufacturers like Fiat Chrysler Group, Volkswagen Group, and Ford Motor Co. Ultra-premium brands like Lamborghini and Ferrari are also in the list of their customers.
These automotive companies have seen the advantages of 3D printing car accessories have done.
Benefits of 3D Printing Car Accessories For Automotive Companies
Newer designs – with the help of 3D printing technology, newer designs with more details and geometrical difficulty is very much possible to make. It wouldn’t be as hard as traditionally making the parts of accessories. As long as it is programmed and turned in to a 3D file, everything is possible. Moreover, multi-material 3D printers are now available and it makes wonders for these automotive companies.
Customization – If we are talking about making your own twist with your car, BMW is at the front of this category. As they have been using 3D printing technology for the past 25 years, they have thought of letting their customers customized their BMW MINI.
Consumers just need to send the file to the company and they will do the rest to personalize the car. It can range from a 3D printed pattern, picture, shape, and letter on the dashboard and glove box to a LED light that projects your name on the street when you get out of the car.
Shorter lead times – according to Ferrulli, “60 percent of Italian customers use Fortus 3D Printers to perform at least one manufacturing task. “ This only proved that automotive companies find 3D printing to be more reliable than the traditional process.
To further prove what Ferrulli stated, he gave an example. One of their customers, Jaguar Land Rover, used a Stratasys 3D printer to make a complete fascia air vent for their Range Rover Sport. In a single process, the part was made. It was tested and everything was working. The hinges on the blades were all clean and the control knob had the right look and feel. So it passed the examination.
Lower costs – For this advantage, Stratasys stated that automotive companies save as much as 90 percent compared to the traditional manufacturing process. Another automotive company, Lamborghini, has used 3D printing for the prototype of the body and chassis. Normally, it costs them $40,000 to make the scaled part. But it lowered down to $3,000 after 3D printing technology was used.
Less error – using 3D printers for prototyping and manufacturing of accessories, automotive companies are able to work with less to no errors. They are able to see the faulty parts and design during the process and are able to save materials and prevent more waste, environmentally. Delays in production are also decreased because of 3D printed car accessories.
These technologies are being utilized by many automotive companies, why not use them too? Contact us now for inquiries!