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      3D Blog

      Why is 3D printing so Interesting for Car Manufacturers?

      Why is 3D printing so Interesting for Car Manufacturers?

      3D printing has been revolutionizing the way companies do business for decades. It has helped push innovations forward in a variety of industries, specifically in the automotive industry. In fact, it has transformed the way car manufacturers are able to meet and overcome the demands they face in all areas of automotive production.

      How is 3D printing used in the automotive industry?

      3D printing has made a huge impact on the ways that car manufacturers are designing, developing, making, and distributing cars, car parts, and tools.

       

      • Design and Development

       

      It can be difficult to pinpoint problems in a car's design just by looking at CAD models. With 3D printing, car manufacturers are able to produce a physical model and use it to discuss any problems with form and fit that need to be addressed.

       

      • Prototyping validation

       

      Similar to other industries, the manufacturing process followed by car manufacturers includes prototyping which can be very expensive. 3D printing has enabled these companies to produce a full-scale rapid prototype that they can use to validate the product design and performance.

       

      • Tooling preparation and production

       

      Tooling refers to the process of designing and producing assembly tools. Tooling production can be expensive and take time. But with 3D printing, tool production costs can be reduced significantly. In fact, the Volkswagen Autoeuropa factory in Portugal claims to have been able to lower their tooling costs by 90%. BMW, on the other hand, has been able to use 3D printing to increase worker productivity and reduce project time by using 3D printers to create customized, ergonomic hand tools.

       

      • Customized parts production

       

      3D printing has enabled car companies to easily produce customized parts to cater to specific market needs. For example, they can tailor components in a specific vehicle to make it lighter. They can also produce specially-designed seats for race car drivers. Another example is the production of low demand, high-priced parts. Instead of storing this kind of inventory and incurring expenses, some car companies are using 3D printing on-demand to meet this kind of market need. In fact, Porsche is offering this service to car enthusiasts looking for spare parts for their classic cars.

      What are the benefits of 3D printing for car manufacturers?

      3D printing is a technology that has brought about numerous advantages to a variety of industries, including the automotive industry. Fast, low-cost production, efficiency, flexibility, and competitive advantage are just a few. Let's discuss them one by one, shall we?

       

      • Rapid Prototyping

       

      This is a huge advantage when you're designing a large, expensive product such as a car. As we've mentioned, it can be difficult to evaluate the form, fit, and function just by looking at a CAD model. With 3D printing, they can produce a rapid prototype at a low cost. Moreover, this allows companies to streamline and speed up the manufacturing process.

       

      • Flexibility

       

      Due to rapid prototyping, car manufacturers are able to enjoy design flexibility. They can try out various iterations and/or alternatives at a low cost. They can compare different design elements that will allow them to test quality and refine their design. All of this can be done in a shorter amount of time with little additional cost before pushing through mass production. GM, for example, produces various test models of around 20,000 of its functional components.

       

      • Decreasing costs

       

      We've mentioned it time and again, but this benefit deserves emphasis. 3D printing has not only enabled car manufacturers to lower the costs of prototyping, iterations, tool production, and customized parts.

       

      • Inventory reduction

       

      Because car manufacturers can utilize 3D printing on demand, car manufacturers don't need to store parts that have a low demand in the market. Usually, these parts are stored in a remote location which means delivering the part to a customer will require time and money. This, of course, translates to lower operational costs.

       

      • Competitive Advantage

       

      One huge advantage of using 3D printing is that car manufacturers can produce everything they need, from prototypes to customized tools, onsite. This means that they can avoid copyright infringements or information leaks.

       

      3D printing can also enable car manufacturers to respond quickly to market feedback. It shortens the time spent on research and development while driving innovation. Car manufacturers can easily provide customers a personalized experience by creating customized products such as front and rear bumpers in different base patterns and colors.

      How will 3D printing affect this industry in the future?

      Innovation and 3D printing go hand-in-hand in the automotive industry. Printing prototypes, tools, and customized parts are just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, the direct result of these occurrences means that car manufacturers can simplify and shorten their supply chain as well as decrease the number of their suppliers. But that's something happening in the present. 3D printing has an even greater impact on this industry's future - 3D printed cars and the rise of micro-factories.

       

      3D printed cars are not a new idea. It's something that's already in the works. But what are micro-factories? These are small car manufacturers that focus on producing a small series of specialized vehicles instead of mass production, to cater to a small market.

       

      The transformation of the automotive industry through 3D printing is only just beginning. The only limit to its growth is perhaps a car manufacturer's imagination.

       

      Author Bio: Louisa is a content marketing professional and editor creating her successful career past 2 years at D3D Printing. She is a goal-oriented, creative individual with a unique voice in writing, editing, and optimizing content for various projects. She's a devoted mom and an excellent piano player.

       

       

      4 Criteria for Selecting the Right 3D Printing Filament

      4 Criteria for Selecting the Right 3D Printing Filament

      4 Criteria for Selecting the Right 3D Printing Filament

      by Olivia Hooper

      The development in filaments has impacted 3D printing a lot. It has changed the way users used to depend on technology. With more options and a variety of properties that these materials exhibit, 3D printing has gained trust from almost every niche in existence. One can utilize 3D printing for numerous needs and requirements. Depending on the results one desires in terms of physical appearance, internal characteristics and a lot of other factors, one can choose the right 3D printing filament for best results.

      Among all the types of additive manufacturing technologies, FDM uses filament for creating models. The number of filaments is huge and it is increasing with time. Apart from a few of the standard ones, there are many advanced filaments that are used for specific printing jobs. Hence, understanding the reason which differentiates these filaments from one another is very important when choosing a material for your printing needs.

      When picking the filaments, the selection process is broken down into several factors. With a few basic tips, one can make an informed decision when buying a 3D printing filament.

      Look for 3D Printer’s Instruction Manual

      3D Printing Materials: Filaments ;

      If you haven’t found the 3D printer of your choice, you must know that 3D printers are available for all budgets. If you have purchased the one like, you must find out what the obligations regarding printing filament that you must abide to. To be precise, every 3D Printer comes with a note about the kind of filaments that it allows. Some only works with PLA or ABS. However, others support multiple filaments. Again, few companies only permit their proprietary filaments and others let you work with any third-party filaments. Looking at what your printer says should be the first thing you should look for. Otherwise, you may end up damaging your 3D Printer. And, trust this, these machines aren’t cheap. You must ensure you follow the suggestions exactly as mentioned, especially if it is about the filament you are planning to feed to your machine.

      Looking at the flip side, if the company is only recommending and not making it a necessity, you can definitely try other brands. However, you must be aware of the nozzle diameter and other specifications before placing the order. Like it or not, the reviews of other customers help a lot. Try reading a lot about the experiences of other users with different filaments and then decided for good.

      Which Filament Fits your Application

      3D Printer Filament Types and Applications ; Source: allthat3d.com

      Every filament offers unique characteristics, surface finish, appearance, etc. Learning about each one of them may be daunting at first. However, as your experience will grow, you would be in a better place to make the decision quick and correct right away. By then, you may have to read about the filaments and their properties and the required 3D printing settings many times.

      Some filaments are flexible and others are tough. Few aren’t very durable and others go on for a lifetime without a problem. Some are cheap and other very expensive. What decides which one is the best for your models is the properties that you want in your final product.

      For example, if you are wishing your item to be flexible, you must choose ABS. However, for a tough and durable finish, you can go with PETG. However, if the application requires a biodegradable filament, PLA would be of huge help.

      Find the Right Company

      3D Printing Filament Types Infographic ; Source: 3dsupplyguys.com

      After you have decided which type of filament you would be using for your 3D prints, it is time to purchase them. Even if that makes it look scarier, finding a trustable company would be like rolling from one side to another, if not researched well. Narrowing down the list of manufacturers may be time taking at first, however, it would be less likely for you to jump into the wrong ones.

      The first thing that you must look for the years of existence of the company. While newer ones aren’t always bad, it is wise to play safe when you are yourself novice. Depending on the companies that have been around for some time and have gathered a large customer base to back their product, it would be safer.

      Secondly, the company must be open about what they offer. And, should tell everything about the pros and cons of the materials they sell. You can cross review the claims with the help of the feedback from existing customers.

      In addition, you can also go with the companies that offer free samples. Although this is provided in a few special cases, mostly, if the probable order is high. If you are getting that option, never shy away from grabbing it.

      Test the Filament

      Good 3D Printing Filament vs Bad 3D Printing Filament ; Source: bootsindustries.com

      Nothing is more convincing than seeing it for yourself. If you have got the sample filament, go ahead. If not, the order in a small unit. Because you do not want to end up with something that you may not be used later. Even if smaller units are expensive, it is better than getting it for lower unit cost and not using it at all. So, depending on your final decision on the print results from your 3D printer.

      Most of the time, you may get satisfactory results in the first attempt, after all, you did a huge groundwork to get there. However, if not, try others on the list. You must find the one that matches your expectations.

      In case, you wish to change the filament type, try asking for a sample for other material types. Not every company has the best filaments in all the categories. So, check what your company has to offer in case of a change of filament type and proceed as you did the first time. 

      The Conclusion

      To break this down in a simpler term, you must start by exploring your machine, knowing your filament and understanding the possibilities these entails. Once you have a lucid vision of what you can achieve when creating models with the right 3D printing filament, your theories would put into play, in the right direction. So, work for it and attain as much knowledge as you can.    

      10 ways that 3D printing will change the world

      10 ways that 3D printing will change the world

      3D printing technology has already revolutionized the business world, and it isn’t done yet! In a matter of a few short years, 3D printing will further change the way we work and do things. Here are a few things in our lives that will change as a result of 3D printing.

      1 – Better education

      The process of learning will be greatly improved with 3D printing technology. Subjects like technology, engineering, and health sciences that were previously very difficult to understand will be made much more simple. As technological developments and streamlining in production makes 3D printers more affordable, more schools will be able to purchase them.

      2 – Superior design

      3D printing will allow for faster and superior design, whether it is for vehicles, clothing, or even food for consumption. Since it takes less time, manufacturers will be able to put more time into other things, like streamlining the production process or bettering the design itself. As a result, products will be released to the market more quickly than before.

      3 – Improved quality of life

      People suffering from medical conditions who require implants, prosthetics, and other such artificial parts will be able to improve their quality of life with 3D printing. Whatever they need can be custom printed exactly according to their requirements.

      4 – Less wastage

      There will be significant improvements when it comes to factory efficiency. Since 3D printing uses additive manufacturing rather than subtractive manufacturing, there will be less waste materials produced. Each factory will also require fewer workers to keep things up and running.

      5 – Copyright issues

      3D printing makes it easier to duplicate another object. As a result, there are sure to be issues regarding copyright. Intellectual property laws will therefore have to shift to entertain new technology.

      6 – Rapid prototyping

      Bringing to life an idea in your head will be easier than ever with 3D printing. Prototyping is more efficient than ever, and product engineers will therefore have more time to concentrate on the functionality of the product and make sure it is working well.

      7 – Dental care

      Taking care of your teeth will soon be effortless. If you need to fix a tooth, a digital camera can capture your damaged tooth and a 3D printer will produce a replacement in no time. The process for teeth replacement, veneers, crowns, dentures, and a great many other things will be greatly eased.

      8 – Inexpensive housing

      Constructing parts for houses will soon be more inexpensive and better for the environment. China has already begun to use 3D printing in this way, putting together inexpensive homes with reused materials.

      9 – Previously impossible products

      Some items are impossible or close to impossible to produce without 3D printing. Whether it is because of the complexity of the material or the intricacy of the design, 3D printing can manufacture products that were previously deemed unattainable.

      10 – A new industry

      It’s only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace to see a 3D printing shop at the local mall. Soon, people will be purchasing custom items online, and collecting them at the local print shop, who will receive the designs on the internet.

      How 3D printing is improving the world

      How 3D printing is improving the world

      There have been several technological breakthroughs over the past few decades that have been able to shake the world. One of the more iconic devices that was developed is the 3D printer. This device is able to build 3D objects according to instructions in a digital file.

      There are several types of 3D printers, each for different purposes. They use materials such as plastic, metal, and ceramics, among others. You could even print food!

      Here are five major things that 3D printing is doing for the world:

      1 – Making education easier

      3D printers will become common classroom equipment in no time. Today, teachers are increasingly using 3D printing to aid their teaching. It can be used for a variety of subjects, from history to science.

      Students often struggle to understand concepts and things that they cannot see and feel. With 3D printing, they will be able to touch and hold bones, historical artifacts, kidney models, and other things that are hard to get a hold of. They will have a greater understanding of previously vague concepts. Kids may be inspired by 3D printing and have an interest in physics and engineering, too.

      2 – Revolutionizing the medical field

      Medical care will be improved by 3D printing, and it will probably be a lot cheaper, too. It will be easier than ever to print prosthetics, bones, and other things custom-fitted to the patient. Not to mention that researchers will benefit from the ease with which they can build models to make their research go faster. There are even 3D bioprinters that can print human tissues, and soon will be producing custom organs for those who need replacements.

      3D printing has the ability to build detailed, intricate items. They can be made to be especially lightweight if you choose the right material. Soon, prosthetics will be much more comfortable and will fit the patient perfectly.

      3 – Making dining on demand a reality

      Why cook when you could 3D print dinner? This technology makes it possible for you to customize your meal. In a couple years, there may even be restaurants with nothing but 3D printers and ingredients. On-demand dining used to be just a pipe dream from Back to the Future, but it’s soon becoming reality.

      4 – Reducing shipping pollution

      Shipping goods across the country requires major use of energy, gas, and transportation. Later, when people are able to 3D print items in their locale, there won’t be nearly as much items being shipped to and fro. Therefore, there will be less ships, trucks, and planes carrying products that still do need to be shipped, resulting in reduced amounts of pollution.

      5 – Expediting construction

      In no time, 3D printing will be used to print larger objects – buildings, even. It won’t be long before people design structures using software and then print the parts with a 3D printer. You won’t need a construction crew the size that you previously would have needed to build your home.

      As of now, most people don’t have the technical skill to manufacture homes that have structural integrity. That being said, it is already commonplace for smaller items such as floor panels and sockets to be produced using these revolutionary printers.

      How 3D printing is changing manufacturing

      How 3D printing is changing manufacturing

      The introduction of 3D printing has revolutionized the business world. There are quite a few ways that it has changed many industries, and if you want to find out, you are in the right place!

      The following six points will describe how 3D printing has transformed the manufacturing industry:

      1 – Double the rate of production

      Studies have shown that 3D printing will enable manufacturers to produce items at twice the rate that they are currently able. This will help them to reach their production objectives without incurring any additional costs per unit.

      Additionally, manufacturers will benefit from not needing to import materials from other places. Without shipping fees, they will have cash available to invest in 3D printing in their own plants. As a result, they will not only lower costs, but increase production.

      2 – Produce unique goods

      3D printing gives manufacturers the opportunity to make unique goods. This is a plus for customers, who often want more personalized products. Companies will be able to produce everything from unique shoes to custom cars.

      3D developers have affirmed that in the future, it will be possible to 3D print via an app on your mobile device. At the same time, professional designers will be advancing industrial design, making it easier and better than ever. 3D printing is a great way to increase your revenue by minimizing costs and increasing sales.

      3 – Enable creativity

      Innovative minds will love 3D printing. This technology allows them to widen their horizons and bring their wildest designs to life. Whether a mobile device or a special type of chair is in the works, it will be easier for creatives to perfectly generate their designs.

      4 – Sidestep copyright problems

      In any industry, it is essential to protect your intellectual property. Many companies have lawyers on speed dial to help them deal with any complications regarding copyright.

      With 3D printing, every producer owns their design. Therefore, legal problems will be quickly dissolved because of the clear lines that this technology draws when it comes to ownership of design.

      5 – Helps mass manufacturers

      Nations that are largely reliant on the manufacturing industry can greatly benefit from 3D technology. China, for one, manufactures a huge amount of products to be sold all over the world. This technology will allow them to produce even more, and at costs that are affordable to citizens within their nation as well.

      6 – Revolutionize other industries

      Though we have mainly focused on the manufacturing industry, every industry will be changed by 3D printing. There are constantly updates on new printers or types of material that are focused on the needs of other fields.

      The healthcare industry, for one, is now benefiting from being able to 3D print prosthetics and artificial body parts. Soon, other industries will be able to take advantage of this awesome technology.

      At The 3D Printer Store, we sell high-quality, affordable 3D printers & parts to help you on your journey of innovation – shop today!