Application status of 3D Printing Technology in Automobile Industry

Although there are frequent reports about 3D printing cars, the concept of 3D printing cars is more widely publicized than practical applications. The 3D printing components account for only a small part of the vehicle, and they are still non-load-bearing parts. So some people think that 3D printing cars are more of a promotion of a technological development concept, to stimulate consumption, which is not really to use 3D printing to produce cars.


However, 3D printing, as a new technology, has its unique advantages, and still has many successful application cases in the automobile industry. The application of 3D printing technology in automobile industry is analyzed from different stages of automobile design, manufacture and consumption.


In the stage of automobile design, 3D printing can make conceptual model and functional prototype quickly, which can greatly shorten the verification time of automobile parts in the early stage of product development, to shorten the research and development cycle of automobile, and reduce the cost waste caused by design reasons as much as possible. For example, Lamborghini uses 3D printing technology to develop engine lines to achieve the production of complex structures in a relatively short time.


In the automobile manufacturing stage, the automobile exterior decoration includes the car lamp, the bumper, the logo, the fender and so on, the automobile interior decoration includes the acoustics system, the steering wheel, the instrument board, the operating rod and so on, as well as the chassis, the body and so on, which have successfully applied the 3D printing technology. The application of 3D printing technology plays an important role in shortening the production cycle and reducing the production cost.


In the stage of automobile consumption, that is to say, when cars enter the hands of consumers, manufacturers need to maintain and repair their vehicles. In this field, 3D printing technology can be described as a great skill. For example, Porsche uses 3D printing technology to make spare parts for classic cars, Mercedes-Benz uses 3D printed parts to repair 1950s sports cars, and BMW uses 3D printed parts to repair old cars. In addition, in the supply chain of auto parts, the application of 3D printing technology has become the goal of major companies at present.