Guide to 3D Printing Automotive Components Applications
The automotive industry relies on the additive manufacturing (AM) department for the creation of vital components. Specifically, 3D printing has enabled new design options for automotive engineers. Parts made are lighter, stronger, and safer due to the robust designs. Additionally, 3D printing has resulted in reduced cost and lead times, thus the favorite manufacturing option. at Creatingway, we recommend the use of AM in direct manufacturing and product innovation in your future projects. Here is the highlight of the design requirements and the automotive applications for 3D printing.
Design Requirements For 3D Printing Automotive Components
The automotive industry considers the weight of the final parts critical. It is because the weight of any part has a direct effect on the automobile speed. Thus must be reduced as much as possible while still maintaining structural integrity. 3D printing uses advanced technology and material to achieve this goal. The different polymer and metal materials available are excellent for producing parts. Especially, lightweight parts.
An automotive part should be resistant to high levels of temperature. This is through having a significant heat deflection minimum. Materials processed through 3D printing are well above the average standard. For example, SLS nylon and photo-cured polymers can survive engine compartment temperatures.
The geometry of a car has an impact on its weight and aerodynamics. This directly affects car performance that most vehicle lovers pay attention to. 3D printing allows the manufacture of very complex structures that are stable and light. Some of the features include thin walls, complex curved surfaces, hidden features, and fine meshes. Additionally, the vehicles need internal channels that prevent overheating by allowing conformal cooling. Therefore, the mentioned features can be easily made through this process. Further, it provides an incomparable degree of design freedom. This coupled with the ability to fully optimize and integrate the functional features makes it quite remarkable.
Part consolidation is important as it reduces the overall assembly time. This is through the making of a single complex part from many components. It also comes with added benefits. For example, less material use, lighter weight, reduced lead time, and cost. Additionally, one requires replacement of only one part in case maintenance needs to take place.
Most automotive parts need to be moisture resistant or moisture-proof once in production. 3D printing offers the option of post-processing to achieve this need. We can create a watertight or moisture-resistant barrier with the help of neat techniques. Such as welding, painting, and sealant application. Additionally, the materials that make the parts are water-resistant by nature. Therefore, such parts can survive moisture and humidity plagued environments without the worry of rust forming.
Benefits of 3D Printing in the Automotive Industry
Prototyping is reliant on additive manufacturing in producing porotypes. This ranges from a full-size wing mirror to a colored dashboard each having high details. Further, other forms of AM materials allow for full validation and testing of the prototype’s performance.
The competitive nature of the automotive industry has led to the justification of customization. Part tailor-made are nowadays appreciated and valued highly by car owners. Customizable features include weight, suspension arms, and the driver’s seat or helmet. Additionally,
Additive manufacturing allows for the cost-effective making of important pre-production tools. The rapid making of such tools is key as it reduces the risk of high investment costs. Remember, the tools will form jigs, fixes, and casting sections for injection molding. Additionally, it is quick and the tools made can work for both medium and low runs of parts. This increases the possibility of every part produced is unique.
The production volumes in the automotive industry are mostly very high. We generally can make over 100,000 parts per year in the industry. This put additive manufacturing at a disadvantage due to its low volume abilities. However, recent changes in its technology have increased the printer’s speed. This allows AM to be a viable option for medium-sized volume runs. At Creatingway, we consider this valuable for automobile manufacturers that value quality. Alternatively, it is great for those that keep production numbers lower than average.
The automotive industry designs start as scale models before becoming a full-sized vehicle. These models serve as test samples for aerodynamic sampling. 3D printing can produce them at high detail and smooth surfaces. This is essential as it is vital to test out an accurate model. Thus, it allows clear communication and showcasing of the concept prototype.
What’s The Automotive Applications?
In a vehicle, bellows allow delivery of additional air to fuel, increasing the rate of combustion. They need to be flexible enough not to wear out easily. This is because the part will be exposed to repetitive flexing motions. Materials such as polyethylene can survive for long even after significant flexing. 3D printing can effectively make bellows from this material.
The ducting system functions in allowing airflow to the engine for cooling. It, therefore, needs variable wall thickness and strength to weight ratio for proper functioning. This would be costly if we use traditional manufacturing methods. Thus, 3D printing comes in a low-cost option nondependent on complexity. Contact Creatingway now for 3D printing automotive components services.
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