As most automotive vehicles have over 30,000 parts design, body structure and performance enhancements are suited perfectly for 3d printing. The ability to modify designs and print prototypes quickly and then test saves time, factory hours and eliminates traditional machining costs. As with the aerospace industry reduction in weight is a huge factor in car design.
Car Manufacturers Adopt 3D Printing
- The additive manufacturing center of BMW prints 25,000 prototypes and provides customer around 100,000 3D printing parts.
- Since 2012, BMW has been using 3D printing to produce parts.
- Sub-company Rolls Royce has been installing more than 10,000 3D printed parts on Phantom series.
- Bentley plans to use 3D printing to print all interior decorations for its new model on 2036.
Ford - Early Adopters
- Ford purchased the 3rd 3D printing machine in 1988 and currently operates five 3D printing centres. 3D printing shortens their R&D period.
- Engine hood of new Ford Mustang is the 500,000th part manufactured by 3D printing at Ford.
- As one of the most complicated parts, intake manifold used to take about four month to make and costs 500,000 USD. Now, Ford is capable of making any intake manifold prototypes within four days by 3D printing. The cost is only 3000 USD.