3D printing has been used in the automotive industry for many years. Due to the omission of patents, 3D printing has now become very cost-effective in series production. Economic experts therefore predict that additive manufacturing will replace conventional processes, such as injection moulding, in the shortest possible time. For the production of small series, additive manufacturing is already the most efficient.
In addition to cost savings, the greatest possible freedom for geometric shapes is another significant advantage for the use of 3D printing in the automotive industry. Complex individual parts, when manufactured additively, do not have to be put together afterwards. There are no unsightly connecting lines at joints. The production of prototypes and first pre-series components is also quickly made possible.
3D printing in the automotive industry
A special reason for using 3D printing in the automotive industry is the weight reduction made possible by additive manufacturing. The internal filling of objects can be individually adjusted, a 100% filling is rarely required. For most components, a weight reduction of up to 70% can be achieved by expert selection of the honeycomb-shaped internal structure. Appearance as well as design of the workpieces remain untouched, while the functionality is maintained or improved in all points.
The surface of the printed bodies do not always have to be completely smooth, often a certain roughness is desired, which can also run through the entire object. However, completely flat shapes can also be produced by finishing the workpieces, for example, by sandblasting. By producing metal alloys, different properties can be assigned to the objects. Printing with ceramics is also possible and particularly attractive for additive production in automotive technology.
Efficiency and sustainability of 3D printing in the automotive industry
With additive manufacturing, components can be produced more efficiently and sustainably. In addition, there is a reduction in the costs of waste disposal. In the future, companies in the manufacturing industry will have to pay more attention to sustainability. The scarcity of resources will lead to higher taxes, customs duties, and waste costs. It is therefore particularly advisable to increasingly use additive manufacturing in automotive technology for series production. By using your own printers, you save the high costs of print shops and there is no waiting time since you produce within your own company.