Is 3D printing the future of the automobile industry? Here’s how!Ken Lambert (SEO)
The automobile industry has brought the technology of 3D printing into use. Several part manufacturers and automotive OEMs are investing in 3D printing. Currently, the use of 3D printing is restricted to the prototyping application in the automobile industry. Complex parts such as air ducts, suspension wishbone, battery covers, mirror sockets, etc., can be easily manufactured now, thanks to 3D printing. Since 3D printing is now widely used in several sectors, the market for PLA filament has also received a boost. In this guide, we’ve thrown light upon the future of 3D printing in the automobile industry.
- Personalized/Custom parts
Automotive parts include steering wheels, seats, body parts, etc., which are quite expensive. The use of 3D printing is vital for the manufacturing of custom automotive parts. The introduction of 3D printing technology has opened doors for the customers to customize the parts as per their liking. This new approach further boosts the experience or performance of the customers. When it comes to luxury cars and vintage vehicles, the technology of 3D printing can be applied here as well for the manufacturing of spare parts.
- Spare parts of the Classic Cars
One major challenge faced by service providers and manufacturers is the accessibility to the spare parts right on time. The demand for spare parts cannot be predicted, and it’s highly volatile. Not merely that, spare part production is quite expensive as well. Unavailability and high cost of spare parts take a toll on customer sentiment and service business. On the other hand, 3D printing technology is very inexpensive, including PLA filament. The manufacture of parts that requires huge capital and a considerable amount of time can be printed cost-effectively quickly.
- Complex tools and parts
When it comes to manufacturing complicate tools and parts, 3D printing technology will be the conventional technology for production. Additionally, 3D printing also resolves any inventory problem of automotive OEMs with the utmost ease. A significant amount of energy, time, and cost goes into the production of suspension systems, tools, valves, and nozzles. Therefore, the OEMs are looking out for alternative technologies for the production of tools and parts on-demand, leading to lower inventory.
- Eliminate third-parties
At present, rural or remote areas get the supply of spare parts from third-party distributors or service providers. Ultimately, this results in high prices of the spare parts. In most situations, spare parts aren’t available on time with these third-party distributors or service providers. And this ends up adversely impacting the customers’ sentiment. The customers then end up choosing fake spare parts due to the absence of any alternative solution. Usage of unauthorized spare parts affects their vehicle’s performance. 3D printing technology can mitigate their misery and save them a lot of money by printing the spare parts on time and without burning a hole into their pocket. Such printing equipment can be established in rural areas, eliminating the need for third-party distributors/service providers. PLA filament for 3D printing is also readily available, which further gives a boost to this new approach.
- Mass Manufacturing
In the current scenario, OEMs have their eyes fixed on the manufacture of customized and complex parts with the help of 3D printing. Even though 3D printing technology comes with certain technical flaws, it’s better than any other option. Some major 3D printing organizations like Protolabs, 3D systems, and HP are joining hands with part manufacturers and automotive OEMs to curb their technical flaws. Within the next one or two decades, automotive OEMs will carry out mass production of cars with the help of 3D printing technology.
Industry experts have commented that the use of 3D printing is expected to rise at high-speed and high-precision for mass production and direct production of numerous components and parts in the automobile industry. It’ll somewhat take 15-20 years from this year to produce cars using the technology of 3D printing. Many reputed car companies are already thinking of building two-seater electric cars on a large scale using the technology of 3D printing. Our next-generation won’t have to empty their pocket entirely while getting some spare parts or even an electric car. Thanks to the 3D printing technology!
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