January 11, 2022
Believing the 3D printing technology will become turning point for vehicle manufacturing, automotive industry is expected to phase in this new technology.
Industry background and pain points
The automotive industry has a history of more than 100 years, and its production standards and processes have gradually been finalized, but some new problems have been noticed:
【Long Production Period】the process of prototyping, prototype preparation/testing and vehicle production are all time-consuming.
【High Costs】parts and fixtures usually need to be produced by special molds which are expensive and hard to reduce costs in the short term.
【Less Eco-friendly】In the traditional automotive industry, utilizing of metal and heavy components may lead to energy excessive consumption. How to effectively solve the above problems has drawn more and more attention in the industry.
3D printing solutions
In the views of the above mentioned features, some strategies and solutions with 3D printing technology are proposed.
【Lighter-Weight】A car is usually made up of thousands of different metal components which makes it solid but could be unnecessarily heavy . By equipping with structurally optimized 3D printed parts, such as side rear fender, the weight of entire vehicle could be lighted reasonalbly to some extend. In the era of carbon reduction, 3D printing is becoming an important technology to meet the needs of end users.
【Cost-effective】3D printing can quickly print fixtures, inspection tools and some terminal parts without mold opening, which greatly improves production efficiency and reduces manufacturing costs.
【Customers Tailor-Made】Compared with traditional handmade clay models, 3D printing can quickly and accurately convert design drawings into physical objects. Based on this rapid prototyping characteristics, the industry is planning to improve the design with 3D printing technology that can achieve C2M (Customer-to-Manufacturer) manufacturing which is stated as a main goal of the Industry 4.0 strategy.
3D printing solutions by Polymaker
Polymaker is reputational for its proficiency in material-extrusion based 3D printing area with comprehensive solutions.
【PolyMax™】Produced with Nano-reinforcement technology, the family deliver filaments with exceptional mechanical properties and printing quality: PolyMax™ PC is an engineered PC filament combining excellent strength, toughness, heat resistance and printing quality. It is the ideal choice for a wide range of engineering applications, especially more demanding applications involving impact resistance and high vibration. For example, this material can be used in the deflector section of the aerodynamic kit to improve aerodynamic performance and greatly reduced the production cost and man-hours compared with commonly used carbon fiber parts, under the premise of limited sacrifice of structure weight. PolyMax™ PETG, on the other hand, is primarily used for chassis cover prototyping due to its excellent mechanical properties and ease of post-processing.
【PolyMide™】A family of Nylon/polyamide based filaments delivering engineering properties intrinsic to Nylon and ease of printing: PolyMide™ CoPA, with its good structural stiffness, is mainly responsible for large-size mold and carbon fiber parts printing. Its Warp-Free™ technology, dimensional stability and heat resistance are all meet the requirements of the automotive industry. PolyMide™ PA6-CF is used directly as an end-use part such as ventilation ducts.
【PolySmooth™】A unique, easy-to print filament designed for models which are hard to sand and post process. The surface can be smoothed with alcohol to achieve layer free models. Given that this material can present a clean design replicating an injection molded surface, it is becoming an ideal choice for designing and making the surface parts of automobile.