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The kick-start of automotive manufacturing commenced a whole lot earlier than most of us think, somewhere in 1981, when Hideo Kodama of the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute, applied for a patent for his rapid prototyping system in Japan, in May 1980. But unfortunately, due to funding constraints, he could not file the full patent specification with a one-year deadline after the application.
Additive manufacturing in the automobile industry has experienced an unprecedented, enterprise-broad adoption for rapid prototyping of vehicles. It is a technique used for making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital model. It uses technology to “print” objects layer by layer, while traditional methods remove material from a solid block. It can be understood as a system by how digital 3D design information builds up an aspect in layers through depositing material.
It is a transformative industrial production method that lets in the introduction of lighter, most effective parts and systems. Additive manufacturing solutions give design freedom while permitting the advent of complex yet lightweight components. The automobile industry gives a new strategy to the modern challenges in the industry.
As part of the larger 3D printing market, additive Manufacturing is a highly effective technology for the future of car as it offers many advantages to automotive manufacturers. These novel technologies are currently being used to create vehicles and Toyota accessories more efficiently, thanks to the superior properties offered by this process when compared to traditional manufacturing processes.
Rise of Additive Manufacturing Automotive Applications
Currently, the usage of additive manufacturing in the automobile industry is at its peak. It would be fitting to say that additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the automotive enterprise.
The producers are exploring it as part of their manufacturing procedure in the following two ways –
- AM for Driving Product Innovation
Automotive companies can experiment with prototypes at a much faster rate by using 3-D printing capabilities to access a vast number of more viable options. This is possible only with additive manufacturing solutions instead of the traditional manufacturing process.
Automotives made with additive manufacturing often include special features, such as wiring embedded in the item to save on space, intricate shapes, and less weight. These processes can’t be done via more traditional manufacturing methods. As a result, manufacturers can create products with functions that multiply their usefulness.
- AM for Driving Supply Chain Transformation
Manufacturers have the option to produce some of the closing aspects used for their cars by utilizing additive manufacturing processes. This will enable them to reduce their typical time to market and decrease handling costs and stock costs.
The above two factors stand the calibre to change the business models of automobile companies worldwide.
The Many Benefits Of Additive Manufacturing
- Additive manufacturing enables designers to create prototypes faster than legacy subtractive manufacturing processes. It allows the most freedom to designers while introducing complex but mild elements with rigidity tiers. This makes it easier to create the finished product faster, even with complicated designs.
- It is used for testing, manufacturing, and assembling automotive components and factors with greater efficiency, optimization, and cost-efficiency. By enabling the production of components with integrated functionality, It enables automotive producers to minimize production costs and enhancement costs.
- Automotive manufacturers can get their vehicles to market quickly as additive manufacturing enables them to expand their effectiveness of the look-up and development.
Future Of Additive Manufacturing in Automobiles
Although the automobile industry has been quick to adopt additive manufacturing, its future reliance depends on it in the long term. Here are some new ways that additive manufacturing will be used soon.
- For interiors and seating, dashboards and seat frames should be manufactured using selective laser sintering and stereolithography.
- The tires and wheels of the vehicle are made with polymer-based aluminium alloys, which is a great example of 3D printing technology in action. Additionally, the suspension springs are made with selective laser sintering, while the bumpers are created using inkjet technology.
- Electronics – Selective Laser Sintering can produce various refined elements together with components that have embedded technology, for example, single part panels and sensors.
- Framework and doors – Selective laser melting is a technique that uses lasers to fuse the metal powder to produce body panels for cars, such as the framework that surrounds the doors and many other intricate components of the automobile.
- Engine Components – Various useful engine parts can be made from metals and alloys such as titanium, aluminium, etc. These effective manufacturing techniques have been approved using strategies such as electron beam melting and selective laser melting.
- Exterior: Selective laser sintering and polymers are presently used to produce windbreakers and bumpers.
Additive Manufacturing is a highly effective technology for the future of car as it offers many advantages to automotive manufacturers. These novel technologies are currently being used to create vehicles more efficiently, thanks to the superior properties offered by this process when compared to traditional manufacturing processes.
With additive manufacturing, you can simplify certain tasks, generate less waste, and reduce maintenance costs and turnaround times using 3D technology to create various vehicle parts such as their engines’ framework and doors or components.