Alternate transport solutions are being proposed worldwide to tackle the issues pertaining to population, pollution and transit time. Major breakthroughs are happening in types fuels used, designs, hyperloop, self-driven cars and so on. Big brands in the automobile industry are taking notice and coming up with their products keeping in mind the changes happening. This is where 3D printing comes in as the future of automobile industry, opening avenues for more innovation.
This article is meant to list off some of the most prominent ways that 3D printing has altered the landscape for car manufacturing. Another purpose is to list the various projects in development or rising to prominence based on what need they fill in terms of car manufacturing. The article will also posit ideas on the possible futures of the technology within the car industry.
The design of the cars have been different in every decade, a car with its design reflect the decade it was made in.They become indicative of the trends of that decade. A lot of this had to do with the technology available and the levels of mass production the industry was engaging in.
3D Printing has provided automobile industry with options which weren’t available before in terms of production. It also gives more power to the designer, as he or she may not need as extensive a workforce. Cars are being printed entirely by the manufacturers. This reduces the chance of outsourcing of production and design changes.
Companies around the world are already praising the new found benefits of 3D Printing, there are cars being produced which are eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable. 3D Printing has also made it cheaper to produce cars, making the production efficient and having the potential to disrupt the industry altogether.
While designing lets you explore the possibilities, the other side of cars is the old classic ones. Restoration is also a huge part of the automobile industry. Even functioning vehicles at some point will need restoration of a part for maintenance. This also poses a dilemma to restorers and collectors to find those parts as the cars are century old and not under production anymore.
Additive manufacturing comes in the picture for specialised printing just like in this case. With the help of 3D printers, parts can be printed and decades-old cars can be revived. This wouldn’t have been possible through the traditional methods. This also cuts down cost which would’ve been way higher with the original parts. It also presents companies with an alternative to always having parts on hand. They could instead keep stl files for printing facilities to download, cutting material, inventory and even shipping costs.
Right from Fast and the Furious to Need for Speed, the past decade has been all about customization in the automotive culture and so do these movies reflect. Customization of car parts was the rage. Cars were personalised through paints and custom parts like never before.
Additive manufacturing combines design and production and bringing it to the prosumer level. It’s possible that we’ll see people trading files to mod their cars in the near future. There is still time to it though, for that printers need to get bigger and be consumer-graded.
It’s not much of a stretch to think that people might design parts of their own. It may open up the ability of consumers to customize their vehicles in an even more personal manner. It could become a field of its own at some point.