Recent advances in AM, have allowed the automotive industry to work with more freedom. The industry can now try and opt for newer, more robust designs and use the benefits of lighter, stronger, and safer products manufactured in reduced lead times at reduced costs.

3D Printing allows automotive designers to quickly fabricate an accurate prototype of a physical part or even of an assembly. From a simple interior element, to a dashboard or even a scale model of an entire car, 3D Printing, allows the designer to envision their design. Companies can turn their ideas
into convincing proofs of concept using 3D Printing techniques, which can then be advanced to high-fidelity prototypes that resemble the end result.

Manufacturing aids developed via AM, can be used to make manufacturing and assembly processes more reliable, and also help by reducing cycle times and improving floor safety. Custom jigs and fixtures, each tailored and highly optimized for end-use can now be used by automotive factories and part suppliers.

3D printing has also allowed for the creation of parts that simply could not be produced by any other means.

Most components that go into the production of automobiles must be moisture resistant, if not moisture proof, entirely. One major benefit of additive manufacturing is that all printed parts can be post-processed in order to create a watertight and moisture resistant barrier.

The Automotive Industry has always faced challenges when it comes to spare parts. The sporadic and unpredictable demand for spare parts, makes it difficult to identify the exact value of producing spare components, making it a debatable financial decision in some instances. 3D printing has made a significant positive impact on this spare parts problem. Digital copies of all components can be stored and manufactured on demand, making the need to keep inventory obsolete.

Many automotive applications require significant heat deflection minimums. There are several AM processes that offer materials that withstand temperatures well above the average sustained engine compartment temperatures. SLS nylon, as well as some photo-cured polymers, are suitable for high-temperature applications.

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