According to a Sculpteo survey, in 2018, 66% of manufacturers in the United States, Europe, and Asia had 3D printers. Additive manufacturing is in demand because this technology allows for the fast creation of unique products at an affordable price. But what other benefits does 3D printing provide? How does it help in production?
Ford, Mercedes, Audi, and Ferrari apply 3D printing. BMW has been using additive technologies in production for more than a decade now. In 2018, the company released its millionth 3D-printed part.
“Imagine a limited-edition supercar. It needs a dash panel, fenders, parts of the passenger compartment, and other plastic elements. If the manufacturer casts them, it will have to order a mold costing USD 7 to 20 thousand for each part. When the production run is in the millions, the investment will pay off, while the self-cost of parts for a series of just 200–300 cars will be prohibitively high. In such cases, 3D printing is much more cost-effective.”
3D printers can print one-piece structures nested inside one another.
3D printing handles models of any shape. According to Sculpteo survey participants, this is the main advantage of additive manufacturing. The technology is suitable for products with a porous or perforated surface. Today, scale models, helmets, unique covers for smartphones, and even medical prostheses are being printed.
3D printing can be used to make complex products with custom dimensions.
Build unit’s dimensions are limited, but that doesn’t mean that parts of any size can’t be made. To do this, the model is divided into parts, printed, and then glued.
To make the gluing reliable, parts of a large model are printed in the form of a puzzle.
Examples of large parts are fenders, dash panels, and other elements of a car’s passenger compartment and body. For the structure to be solid, you must correctly determine the places to be glued and divide it into parts. An important rule: the model cannot be ‘cut’ along straight lines, as such a connection will be weak, and the construction may separate. Infomir specialists only accept these orders by email because online calculators do not yet divide models into parts.
3D printing saves money and helps access the market faster. Additive manufacturing is not yet a substitute for casting: printing allows you to test the idea and modify the product shape without risk. Printing helps manufacturers not to spend resources on products that are not in demand.
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