How 3D Printing is Transforming the Automotive Industry
- | Automotive prototypes in under 24 hours
- | Cut costs by up to 90% compared to traditional machining
- | Simplify assemblies & reduce vehicle weight by up to 70%
3D Printing isn't just for prototyping; simplify automotive assemblies, reduce labor costs and manufacture lighter parts with industrial additive manufacturing technology.
Over the past three decades, 3D printing has been an important tool for automotive manufacturers to prototype and validate the fit and form of automotive components before production. Recent advancements in 3D printing technologies now the potential application for additive manufacturing further by enabling the production of functional end-use parts for both the interior and exterior of vehicles. Innovative automotive manufacturers are leveraging these advancements for just-in-time manufacturing, producing parts precisely when needed and allowing for greater design freedom. This approach results in lighter parts without compromising strength or safety.
Our Digital Manufacturing Process
Forge Labs' instant quoting platform strengthens the automotive supply chain by providing custom parts tailored to your needs—suitable for prototyping, R&D, validation, or full-scale production of automotive parts. Leverage our advanced capabilities and virtually limitless capacity to accelerate your timelines and consistently meet innovation deadlines. Receive instant quotes for advanced manufacturing processes like Selective Laser Sintering, Multi-Jet Fusion, and Direct Metal Laser Sintering, and produce end-use automotive parts with final product aesthetics. Materials such as Nylon 12 are suitable for functional performance testing in low to mid-volume production. High-performance thermoplastics for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), such as ULTEM 9085, are appropriate for use inside engine compartments or for parts requiring Flame, Smoke, and Toxicity (FST) certifications.
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Solutions for Automotive Designers
Precision Automotive Prototypes
The rapid turnaround of 3D printing enables the both small batches of complex components and larger production runs of precision automotive prototypes. Forge Labs offers cutting-edge 3D printing technologies tailored for automotive manufacturing, facilitating the creation of prototypes with tolerances as precise as +/- 0.1mm and fine details down to 0.2mm. Our build platforms accommodate large automotive parts up to 59 inches with ease, enhancing both efficiency and manufacturing precision during the prototyping phase to better inform downstream manufacturing decisions.
Reduced Vehicle Weight
Additive manufacturing technology is revolutionizing the automotive industry by offering innovative solutions for lightweight manufacturing, ultimately leading to more sustainable and efficient vehicles. It enables the creation of complex, lightweight automotive structures that were previously unattainable through traditional manufacturing methods. These lightweight components not only contribute to improved fuel efficiency but also enhance overall vehicle performance and safety. Simplify assemblies further by consolidating multiple parts into a single, integrated component, reducing assembly complexity and further decreasing weight.
Through localized on-demand manufacturing, 3D printing reduces the need for extensive warehousing and long-distance transportation of components. Manufacturing with 3D printing enables a quicker response to market demand fluctuations by producing parts and products on-site or nearby, thereby reducing lead times and inventory costs. Products can be better tailored to local preferences or specific requirements, which also improves supply chain resilience by mitigating the impact of global disruptions. This just-in-time production approach not only minimizes inventory costs but also reduces the risks associated with supply chain disruptions.
3D printing allows for more streamlined inventory management as it eliminates the need to stock a wide variety of spare parts by enabling on-the-fly production as needed. Quickly adapt to changes in demand or design revisions without the lead times and costs associated with traditional manufacturing. 3D printing transforms the automotive supply chain into a more agile, responsive, and cost-effective system, ultimately accelerating the development and delivery of vehicles to the market.
Case Studies in Automotive
Automotive Innovation at Polaris using FDM 3D Printing
How 3D printing has powdered innovation at Polaris using Stratasys industrial FDM 3D printing technology.
Replacing Traditional Manufacturing with 3D Printing
How International Submarine Engineering used 3D printed parts on their new explorer class submarine.
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