The benefits of 3D printing in the automotive industry

The benefits of 3D printing in the automotive industry

3D prints, applying a method completely different from traditional manufacturing, which can affect, modify, and supplement some processes in supply chains. In the industrial sector, additive manufacturing is often used for prototyping, as currently this technology does not allow to carry out mass production.

In the automotive industry, printers additive manufacturing, are able to produce complex extremely detailed levels with unique materials and specific designs, which can be very difficult to imitate by other traditional methods of production of spare parts for cars working on a large scale , making identical parts that are sold massively.

The biggest benefit of having this type of technology in the automotive industry is that customers no longer have to place orders online parts which are only marketed in other countries, also a significant reduction in transport costs will be generated because you will not need to have to mobilize tons of spare vehicle parts thereof or covering long distances, since they can be designed and printed as much closer to the consumer.

A clear example Ford and 3D parts

On March 6, Ford announced it started testing with additive manufacturing, or in 3D- large-scale parts, with the main objective to reduce costs and components for an operation that, in the traditional way, it would be extremely expensive.

 The technology applied by the giant auto industry, is called Stratasys, and Infinite Build your printer. The main purpose of this method of manufacture of spare parts, is to find the most efficient way to manufacture large auto parts in “relatively low volume” reducing costs significantly.

The manufacturing business vehicle parts is very specific, requires high investments in processing time and tend to be expensive to be made from heavy materials and limited acquisition.

Ford, say the “Infinite Build” technology, you can create lighter parts and customized according to the taste of each client. Ford would be the first automaker to do these tests, but are clear and ensure that this technology and its potential use in vehicle production could be very valuable.

“With the Infinite Build technology, can print large items such as tools and components, becoming more agile in our design iterations,” said Ellen Lee, Ford technical leader. “We are excited to have early access to new technology from Stratasys to help guide the development of large-scale printing and automotive applications requirements.”

3D auto parts and custom tailored

Technological advances and mainly the variation of desire, are factors that motivate everyday consumers to be more individualistic and demanding, becoming unique in their requirements people, forcing companies to suit your needs.

New trends change, are responsible for the variation that is generated passing the old business paradigm, focused on mass production  to a new production system gradually being instilled in the minds of companies: personalization product mass.

This new production methodology is to customize products on a large scale at relatively low cost, which allows to develop competitive advantages in the field.

Some companies in the automotive category already ahead of this change in production processes, so that entrepreneurs should understand what factors must be taken into account to start a strategy of this kind are.

A case as an example

Consider, for example, a machine to optimize packing of 18 parts variations. With mass customization, these products can be created in the assembly line at any time.

To make this possible, the machine is equipped with a module design for the production and labeling of different vehicle parts.

A car system multi-transfer, is used for the individual and flexible transport several different product forms . This causes the system to adapt to products, instead of products to adapt to the system and speed of each car can be individually controlled according to the manufacturing process.

The greatest advantage of the system of multiple carriages, is that waiting times and bottlenecks can be removed from the machine modules.

To ensure that processes result perfectly, are simulated on a computer using a digital replicator, which can virtually test machinery before the operation is actually performed.

This translates into a significant advantage in the process, providing greater flexibility, reduced turnaround times and lower cost.

This machinery exists, and is produced by the company SIEMENS . We can see that the production of the future is a reality.

Star alliance between Siemens and Local Motors

US company Local Motors, aims to develop cars made with 3D printers next year at prices that vary between US $ 12,000 and US $ 60,000. Since 2011 the company is associated with Siemens, which provides software.

Local Motors built the first car with a 3D 2014 printer, but the US company aims to put on the streets and highways of your country over these innovative and sustainable vehicles and created custom, which could make way for the new revolution of 3D printing in the automotive industry.

“In the future cars will have to have a seal of sustainability, digital design in production is what will be used and we are committed to the future with these vehicles, not only as an opportunity for the United States but also for other regions, as Latin America, “said Justin Fishkin, director of strategy Local Motors.

The initiative of the company, was supported by the company and associated SIEMENS, which focuses on Local Motors under the conviction that, with teamwork, are giving way to an important part of the future industry . In particular, the technology giant gives them different softwares, including Solid Edge a mainstream computer assisted design technology synchronization.

Check this video how it was manufactured the first car with a 3D printer

 “It is a co creation. People around the world, who does not work for us, helps us in designing and engineering our vehicles and we pay a royalty deal if their ideas, “explained Fishkin. “Besides that, customers will have a more active role in choosing the car you want: have the option to choose colors, patterns and sizes before the desired car even printed.”.

However, and thinking ambitiously, so that this technology can transform the global automotive industry should be able to produce the bulk and the same volumes as today. It is still out on whether this would actually possible.

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