Over the past decade or so, 3D printing or rapid prototyping has improved virtually every sector in one way or another. Although the main use tends to be for different rapid prototyping services, the rapidly developing technology can be used for a multitude of other jobs as well. With the use of new materials and the ability to create unique and innovative shapes, 3D printing is now a feasible option for many. In many cases, it’s even a necessary process. In the automotive industry, its use is not something new. Rapid prototyping services have already been affecting the automotive industry for decades now. Different car parts are printed and tested before the final product is released and before full scale production begins. Lower costs and shorter lead times are the primary reasons for the use of 3D printing in the production of a few items.
One particular area of interest is the car testing sector. In the car testing sector, different parts are tested in grueling tests such as the crash impact simulation test. These tests are done in order to find what works for the final product. With the aid of rapid prototyping services, designers and engineers can now test their models in real life without the drawback of having to spend too much of time and money, both critical factors in the business and production world.
Safety of your Child
We always tend to put our children before us so it should come as no surprise that one of the primary areas of concern for designers and engineers is the safety of a child that is traveling in a car. New improvements in rapid prototyping services allow designers to create models using the most well fitted materials for the job. They are then able to test them to assess whether or not the product is coming out as anticipated. This way engineers can check for any minute mishaps, fix them and perhaps save a child’s life in the future. The benefits to this are quite huge in number, safety being one of the top most.
A great example of how this technology is helping to improve the industry is the car service provider named Uber. They decided, in 2014, to provide child car seats for their customers. They needed to find the safest possible car seat in the shortest amount of time. So where did they find the solution? Through rapid prototyping of course. After several different models they finally found one that was extremely safe and at a relatively lower price than they had initially expected, making it even greater for their business prospects.
Real Parts or Fake Parts?
Some rapid prototyped parts aren’t real parts. That is to say that they aren’t made of the material that will be found on the final product. This is mainly because of limitations of some older rapid prototyping techniques. There was a time when 3D printers could not print metals, but now with the use of new and improved 3D printing technology, final products can be produced. This is truly a game changer. The endurance of the final product can be tested for faults and changed accordingly. Dash CAE is a company that has used this technology effectively, cutting down lead times by a staggering 83%! They are only one of several companies that have benefited at such a scale.
Car Safety and Profit
How about if the car industry could increase profit and provide greater safety for their wider range of customers? Well with rapid prototyping such a reality is very possible. Although the automotive industry does care for the safety of their customers and does want the best for their customers, they are still a business trying to make money and stay alive. The only way to increase profit while increasing safety as well is to invest in technology that can cut costs and lead time. Rapid prototyping has shortened product development cycles, reduced the cost to create prototypes and even reduced failures in the mechanics of the final product. 3D printing needs to be taken more seriously and invested in more openly. It needs to be promoted for smaller companies as well as big ones. If it can lead to the increased safety of one car and this saves even one life, then it sure is worth it. In the end of the day, nothing goes above safety.
Fully Printed Cars
Imagine printing out an entire car. Sounds surreal almost, but we are close. In recent years, parts of cars have been printed and eventually put together to create a whole car. One well-known car manufacturer, Local Motors, even showcased a car entirely made of 3D printed parts.
A Change for the Better
A century ago cars were made with thousands of separate parts. This would take hours upon hours, week after week on long assembly lines. This was of course a great innovation as compared to the days of manufacturing from the home but it seems to be lacking efficiency now. Today, with the technology of rapid prototyping and 3D printing in hand, we can change this entire system. We can look towards new and innovative ways to manufacture our products all the while growing our business prospects as well. The old system has been stated by many researchers to stand out as outdated and perhaps slowing down our progress towards swifter development.
As 3D printers develop and become cheaper, it seems that they will find their way into homes. Industrialization bought manufacturing out of the home and into the factory but 3D printers may just bring manufacturing back to the homes! As ironic as that sounds, it’s also quite fascinating. Whatever business you are doing, chances are rapid prototyping services stand as a viable option for you.
Our team of experts are ready to help you.