3D Printing Technology Helps the Automobile Industry to Make the Manufacturing Process More Flexible
As a new technology of parts manufacturing, 3D printing can improve the efficiency and accuracy of some parts manufacturing to a certain extent, and reduce the cost. Now many racing car parts are also made with 3D printing technology. Let's take a look at the application of 3D printing technology in racing cars.
The Belgian racing team's Heli engine broke down during the race, and the manifold of its BMW 1 series four cylinder turbodiesel engine exploded, cracking along the ultrasonic welding seam that held the two halves of the manifold together. If the new manifold is made by traditional stamping or casting, it is not only expensive but also time-consuming.
So they used a new technology - 3D printing. They first digitally scanned the two-piece manifold and after 10 hours digitally designed it to make a stronger, lighter one-piece manifold. In the first race with the new manifold, the part was supported with a printed material called PA 12 nylon, and Heli finished third. The same manifold continued until the car was scrapped earlier this year.
From formula one to NASCAR, the 3D printing process has proven its value. 3D printing enables them to make complex parts that cannot be made otherwise, such as parts with honeycomb reinforcement in a hollow space, making the parts lighter and stronger. The use of 3D printing parts in cars not only speeds up the development process, but also has no problem even if the parts made by 3D printers are directly used in full speed racing cars.
General Motors Group, a world-famous automobile manufacturer, has also applied 3D printing technology to automobile manufacturing. They have accumulated a certain amount of feasibility and operability of 3D printing technology. Three quarters of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette's auto parts are produced by 3D printing technology.
The reason why the automobile industry is so optimistic about 3D printing technology is that 3D printing technology can make the automobile manufacturing industry more efficient, because the printing parts can be adjusted at any time; and the 3D printer can work 24 hours a day, and can carry out reverse production through the received data, which can make the whole automobile manufacturing process more flexible.
Now, many automobile companies are exploring the possibility of 3D printing for automobile production and manufacturing in their own design centers. Compared with the traditional car manufacturing process, 3D printing technology can save more costs for automobile enterprises and shorten the time from R & D to marketing.