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Print and Drive – An Automotive Revolution

12/29/2019

3D Printing Transforms the Automotive Industry

 

The past decade has seen a remarkable shift to Additive Manufacturing in the global Automotive Industry. 3D printing, in particular, has been the fundamental game-changer, going from being a nice option to an absolute necessity in auto design studios, OEM factory assembly lines, and test tracks.

 

Raise3D printed wheel parts

Wheel parts manufactured using 3D printing.

 

Applications of 3D printing in the Automotive Industry have evolved from printing relatively simple prototypes, low-volume parts, to 3D printing of entire cars. Especially in the case of early-stage car design, 3D printing car models with Raise3D printers gives the ability to start small and increase in scale well before the part reaches assembly. The 3D manufacturing process has helped with many practical functions like testing and tooling, speeding the process to final design and production.

 

How Additive Technology is Transforming the Automotive Industry

 

screw holder printed on Raise3D printer

 

1.Rapid Tooling with 3D printers: Creating multiple iterations of pre-series molds with a 3D printer like the Pro2 and Pro2 Plus to determine the optimal design before creating the final metal version of the mold saves time and money when compared to traditional tooling methods.

2. Test Multiple Forms in Early Stage Design: Designers can start with creating nearly every part of the final production design on a small scale for testing and functionality evaluation before moving on to the final design.

3.Low-Volume Customization: 3D printing custom features like trims and options in car interiors offers OEMs an economical solution when manufacturing in the number of units are lower than 10,000, especially in the case of limited edition exotics and luxury models.

4.Quick In-house Prototyping: 3D printing is ideal for rapid printing of prototypes for testing, so you can test different designs/versions, at a low cost and short wait time.

5.Formula Student Training and Testing: This student version of the Formula1 circuit demands the very best that modern engineering can offer. Students from all over the world studying mechanical, automotive and motor engineering then compete in Formula Student Competitions that assess the engineering performance of the students, vehicle track performance, costs, and marketing strategy for racing cars. Additive Technology and the use of 3D printers in the Automotive industry have substantially lowered costs and wastage of resources that are inevitable in any training and experimentation of building the world’s latest supercars.

6. Complex Geometries Become Possible: Since many individually manufactured components are installed in the vehicle, the benefits of adaptability and of free shaping help to 3D print complex geometries.

7.Lighter & Faster with 3D Printing: Additive Technology makes lightweight chassis construction possible by utilizing composite materials with high tensile strength like Titanium alloy. Employing metal powder-based filaments, additive manufacturing has optimized not just production of complex geometries but 3D printing has further reduced the weight of the car.

8.Testing- Learning What Works: Using FDM technology, OEMs are able to evaluate materials and designs to see what works and what doesn’t. Many OEMs are increasingly relying on prototyping for design verification and functional testing to perfect performance and fit and finish.

 

5 Reasons Raise3D’s Pro2 Series is a Popular Choice for Automotive Manufacturing

 

 

● Industrial Grade Quality & Reliability: Raise3D Pro2 and Pro2 Plus are reliable work-horses built solid with industrial-grade components that can function 24/7 with features such as 1. Best in class motion performance with precise voltage control, effortlessly smooth movement and superior thermal performance. 2. Power Save Feature: Never lose a print with power loss resuming feature after a power outage or interruption. 3. Industrial grade build plate system made with aerospace-grade material and a silicone heating bed that withstands high temperatures and offers superior warp prevention and even heat distribution.

● Electronic Dual Extruders: Two extruders in 3D printing makes it possible for two colors or materials to be used simultaneously in 3D printing auto parts with supports that are later dissolved or broken away. Apart from offering an unmatched high-resolution print, this method uses less material and reduces filament wastage to allow an even better adaptation to the applicable designs.

● ideaMaker: Raise3D’s patented slicing software is intuitive and easy to use and is considered to be one of the strongest control centers in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry. In auto parts and fixtures, your final prints are only as good as your slicing software. An intuitive slicer helps to achieve those complex geometries and a clean fit & finish on interior parts.

● Diverse Filament Compatibility: Pro2 and Pro 2 Plus beds heat up to scorching 110° Celsius, the nozzle up to 300° Celsius —which offers material compatibility with PLA, ABS, HIPS, PC, TPU, TPE, Nylon, PETG, ASA, and PP. Our Open Filament Program (OFP) is a collaboration between Raise 3D and Filament Manufacturers to identify, test, and select top-performing filaments for Raise 3D printers. This helps automakers create a variety of functional and high performing prints in a variety of interesting and exotic materials.

● Large Build Volume: Raise3D Pro2 series are large format enclosed cartesian frame printers with HEPA filters and a built-in camera. Their large amount of space allows for big prints like air outlets of the Battery containers to be printed whole, saving quite a bit of time and money.

● Quiet Printing: The low noise during operation is also an advantage, as 3D printers are often housed in the same work-space as design, electronic and engineering work without noise disturbance

 

Raise3D air inlet for battery cooling

 

Raise3D Automotive Client Success Stories

 

Raise3D client Tyrconnel says,

 

“We utilize Raise3D printers on a regular basis for car parts as it is able to print using an appropriate filament and its large build size enables us to print a large number of the items in one piece.”

 

Tyrconnell provides a large scope of prototyping and production applications for clients in a variety of fields. With Raise3D, 3D printed automotive replacement parts become one of their accessible options due to the large size and material compatibility.

By reverse-engineering parts and 3D printing, Tyrconnell maximizes the potential of additive manufacturing to supply customers with parts that they would have been unable to obtain by other means or only at prohibitively high prices.

Clients place orders for specific automotive parts often for older cars where parts are no longer readily available. First, the customer sends in a series of photos and rough sizings to quote the part. Then, the original (quite often broken) part is sent in for digital design. This part is digitally scanned and repaired if necessary. The final design is then sent to Raise3D’s slicing software ideaMaker where it can be directly 3D printed.

 

“We have operated a Raise 3D printer for a year now and find it an extremely capable machine because of its adaptability, is a good fit with our operations. We find it easy to use and understand and its large build size enables us to print items in one piece which would otherwise be broken up or unfeasible to print. We find it a solidly built machine and its rigidity and enclosed build platform assists greatly in the production of parts from materials such as ABS which require an element of environmental control. In addition, the power interruption resume feature is an extremely useful and practical feature when dealing with prints which may last over 100 hours. Any time we have had issues with the machine we have found support staff extremely helpful.”

 

3D printed microcontroller housing

Microcontroller housing with Raise3D printers.

 

Raise3D Client Drake Automotive: A small business with big ideas – DRAKES is a veteran-owned and operated parts manufacturing and development shop that started creating products and designs nearly a decade ago in the VW and Audi market, with great success. Their success ignited from a passion to create innovative designs, parts, and products in the automotive community. When manufacturing any type of replacement part or add-on to an existing vehicle, fit, tolerances and precision are all major elements that need to play along with the visual elements desired in an automotive interior. By integrating Raise3D additive manufacturing, DRAKES has elevated its manufacturing process to directly print final pieces in a faster and more accurate process than traditional fabrication.

 

“I researched all the available printers to find which one would best suit my needs over a year ago. I needed a large build capacity, with a heated chamber, and high accuracy … had amazing results from day one. Since then…the machine has been the cornerstone of my business, DRAKES.”

Shane Drake

 

3D Printing Automotive Parts

 

3D printed battery connector

Raise3D printed battery connector.

 

Holder for the connectors to connect the individual segments of the battery. The Formula Student Policy stipulates that the connectors that are not connected incorrectly can be used. Because they are flexible, they were fixed with these rails.

 

air duct exhaust for battery 3D printed

Raise3D printed air duct exhaust.

 

The cooling of the battery takes place via the air intake. Behind the battery, the inverter for the engines are installed, the air must be dissipated sideways.

 

 

Connect with Raise3D: Do you have a great 3D printing success story and think it would be cool to be featured on our website? We would love to learn more! Write to us at inquiry@raise3d.com.

For more information about Raise3D printers and services, browse our website, or schedule a demo with one of our 3D printing experts.