Increasing application of 3D printing in Automotive: a catalyst for the 3D printing materials market.The global 3D Printing Materials market was valued at USD 1.35 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 6.12 billion in 2026, growing at a CAGR of 20.6% during the forecast period.
One of the most innovative applications of 3D printing techniques in the present scenario includes automotive. The automotive industry is a good example of how additive manufacturing drives efficiencies and productivity from design to manufacturing floor. 3D printing is basically a method of making 3-Dimensional objects of solid type from a digital file. This 3D printed object is obtained through additive processes, where an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the final object. Every 3D print starts as a digital, as a blueprint, for a physical object. This design file is sliced into thin layers, as mentioned above, which is then sent to a 3D printer
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The first 3D printed electric car is printed by local motors in 2014 from an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) carbon-filter blend called strati, which was manufactured in just 44 hours. Using a big area additive manufacturing machine Strati is printed from thermoplastic material. This machine is fully recyclable, which can be chopped and reprocessed to be used for manufacturing another 3D printed car. Local Motors sources parts from micro-factories, which are highly automated factories of smaller dimensions that enable manufacturers to save resources such as space, energy, materials and time, and as such require highly detailed software to run seamlessly.
The use of new and innovative materials has been a new advancement in 3D printings. Some companies have been prominently using silica powder, resin, and sand, whereas few OEMs are trying their hands out with forming test parts out of clear plastics which enables them to validate designs as the team can visualise what is happening inside the part. Chrysler uses transparent plastic in 3D prototyping their differential and transfer cases.