In the ultra competitive automotive trade every advantage that can be obtained is essential. Whilst realising economies of scale is one objective, shortening the development process and going through the iteration cycle with limited cost penalties can be equally beneficial. Additive manufacturing techniques allow ideas to be tested and communicated more efficiently and enable users to innovate with less restrictions.
As many of the race teams involved in motorsport are credited with developing techniques that become part of mass produced vehicles it’s obvious to draw a link between the pursuit of improved performance and innovation. More and more automotive companies are using additive manufacturing to stay ahead of the competition and drive more efficiency into their processes.
Why choose a 3D Printer in the Automotive Industry?
- Eliminate Ambiguity – Hold a real-life model of the concept
- Improve Time Efficiency – Print both batches and bespoke pieces, let the print do the work for you
- Achieve Authenticity – Recreate textures, finishes and colours to add even further dimension
- Attain Complex Geometries – Realise your most complex and intricate designs
- Minimal Running Costs – By using up to 90% of the raw material, attain maximum cost-effectiveness
Real World 3D Printing Success Story
Maximizing production efficiency with 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures
Achieving a 91% cost reduction and 95% time savings
By using 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures, Volkswagen Autoeuropa reduces cycle time operation, labour, and the need for reworking, while improving tool ergonomics. Furthermore, they achieve this at a tenth of the usual cost. The company estimates that they are on track to save €250,000 by the end of 2017.
Efficient production and more flexibility in design
Reduction of 98% in costs compared to traditional model making
In the custom car business, cost depends on many factors. From designing and producing a custom piece, which may require different combinations of raw materials and time, to the labour involved in installing and finishing that part, the variables make it difficult to measure. The company estimates they save as much as $500 per part using 3D printing methods instead of purchasing machine-made, aftermarket solutions.
Cost-efficient functional prototypes for small bore motorcycle parts
92% saved in costs and time compared to external CNC supplier
New designs now bypass all traditional stages of ordering and delivery, saving money and time in the process. The reliability and consistency of the print quality means there’s very little waste. Greater flexibility enables the team to innovate more freely and this boosts company profits.
Versatility and Speed of 3D Printing
Unlimited iterations saved huge amounts of time compared to external supplier
Having the quick access to 3D printing technology gave the team the ability to create custom-made parts for the motorbike, which would not be possible without huge costs. Having the power to make unlimited changes to the design of parts saved huge amounts of time if external sources were used they would be huge waits for lead time to produce the final product. We could design, print and test within a week – multiple times.
3D Printed Part on Race Bike
Innofil3D PRO1 material gives the flexibility and performance quality for race bike
Their pursuit of flexible and faster manufacturing of parts led to the collaboration with Innofil3D. Our objective was to create a material which meets the requirements for high-speed motor racing and is easy to use in a desktop 3D-printer. With Innofil3D ABS Fusion⁺ we provided an engineering filament for Ten Kate Racing which meets these criteria.
Talk to an Expert
We’re here to answer your questions
Implementing a new technology can be a painful experience, slowing down your core business and not returning results immediately. Let our team take your headaches away, our knowledge of integrating 3D printing into different industries and applications is second to none. We’d love to hear about your project and help you find the right solution.
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3D Printing Applications in Automotive
The smartest and most cost effective way to design. 3D printing has revolutionised prototyping decreasing the time of production to hours and the costs of prototypes to fractions.
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Moulds & Castings
3D printing patterns and molds is a highly accurate method that doesn’t have the associated costs of traditional mould making. Investment casting, injection molding and production parts are…
Machining tools, jigs or fixtures in metal is a thing of the past. Cost, weight and storage problems are something you live with or you just cope without that part. 3D printing gives you the freedom…
Whether to test the market or to allow your customers into the design process earlier 3D printing allows a quicker, cost saving method of delivering a beautifully crafted product.