3D Printing Automotive Projects
Additive manufacturing and 3D Printing has been used in automotive design & prototyping for decades, however recent advancements have pushed the capabilities of 3D printing even further. Traditionally 3D printing has been used to prototype and validate the fit and form of automotive components before production begins. Today, 3D printing allows for more functional applications including the production of both end-use interior and exterior parts.
Today's additive manufacturing technologies have transformed the ways in which automotive products are designed, developed, manufactured, and distributed. Traditionally, automakers used technologies such as Stereolithography (SLA) and Fused Deposition (FDM) to prototype parts for fit and form testing in-house to protect their intellectual property. While these parts could be manufactured quickly and finished to a high aesthetic detail, they were not efficient enough to manufacture parts in high quantities, and tended to be much weaker. Consequently, 3D Printed parts were primarily used for form and fit to validate designs prior to investing tooling.
Functional End Use Parts
Due to recent advancements in Selective Laser Sintering, Multi-Jet Fusion and Direct Metal Laser Sintering, Forge Labs offers functional end-use materials that offer final product aesthetics such as Nylon 12 using Powder Bed Fusion for both functional testing and low-volume production. High performance thermoplastics for Fused Deposition (FDM), such as ULTEM 9085 are suitable for use inside engine compartments or parts that require Flame Smoke & Toxicity certifications.
Manufacturing parts with 3D printing allows luxury automakers to get more creative with their designs, allowing for more intricate parts to be manufactured such as complex brake calipers, grilles, air vents, handles, and exhausts. Assemblies can now be simplified and combined into a single printed part, saving assembly and labor time later during production.
Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing with Forge Labs enables the rapid production of functional end use parts requiring high levels of customization in a matter of days. Since complexity with 3D printing doesn't add to the cost of manufacturing, this leads to customization opportunities for automakers far beyond what was ever possible with traditional subtractive methods
How 3D printing & Additive Manufacturing is helping design Powersports parts at Polaris
How International Submarine Engineering replaced traditionally machined parts with 3D Printing.