4 Ways 3D Printing Could Change Manufacturing: an Overview for Students in Auto Mechanic Courses

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The advent of 3D printing has brought many new changes which affect how products are designed and manufactured. Essentially, it is a process for making three-dimensional objects from a digital file through what’s known as an additive process, where layers of material are laid on top of each other until the object is created.

Because of this process, 3D printing is also called additive manufacturing, and although it is still a niche market, it has a lot of potential for future growth. Major automotive companies such as Porsche, BMW, and Rolls Royce are already beginning to adopt 3D printing technology into their design and manufacturing plans. Read on to learn more about how 3D printing can change the way we make cars.

1. 3D Printing Can Produce Optimized Lightweight Materials

When it comes to car manufacturing, repeatability is one of the most important factors when considering design and materials. Repeatability is how well the results of a test can be reproduced under the same conditions; for instance, how well one model of car reacts to the same crash test. By using 3D printing methods, vehicles can meet optimized regulation standards, because the final product is both lightweight and ergonomic. Due to the manufacturing material being lighter because of the way 3D printing is structured, it also improves aerodynamics and fuel consumption.

2. It Allows for Customization after Auto Mechanic Courses

For grads of auto mechanic courses, one of the most exciting aspects of potentially introducing 3D printing into future car manufacturing is that it allows for a greater range of customization. Customizing a vehicle is an expensive and time-intensive effort, and the mass production of a car that has specific or particular features is often too costly for manufacturers to undertake. 3D printing can help reduce overall costs due to its quick production turnaround as well as material affordability.

3D printing is already being adopted by large automotive companies
3D printing is already being adopted by large automotive companies

Interior components are often the most expensive aspect of customization, but they can also be easily produced and specialized with additive manufacturing, which allows for the flexible design of parts such as the dashboard, air conditioner vents, door handles, steering wheel, and even the airbags.

3. Additive Manufacturing Boosts Safety, Saves Time, Money, and Resources

Although 3D printed plastics take up most of the headlines, 3D printers are developing to use composite materials like carbon and glass fibre to reinforce printable plastics, and 3D-produced liquid metal has already been introduced to the market. Additionally, additive manufacturing minimizes waste, as 3D printers only use the amount of material programmed within the design, and any excess material can be saved and reused for a different project.

3D printing has the potential to handle complex geometrical designs which are needed in car production to ensure the safety of the vehicle in the event of an accident. 3D production can optimize rollover strength, as well as post-repair crash aspects, such as replacing and reinforcing body panels, which are the parts of a car most susceptible to damage.

4. It Helps Mechanics Easily Replace Spare Parts

The average car contains over 30,000 different components and parts, which are produced using different manufacturing methods. This can sometimes make it challenging to replace a specific part. 3D printing simplifies these manufacturing methods, which makes it easier, for example, for mechanic courses in Toronto to find and replace damaged parts. By combining 3D scanning and modeling, additive manufacturing can also reproduce rare parts for older car models which may not be in production anymore.

Due to the low cost of manufacturing, 3D printers can create spare parts quickly and easily
Due to the low cost of manufacturing, 3D printers can create spare parts quickly and easily

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