Four Obvious Benefits of 3D Printing in Automotive R&D

Design departments aren’t the only ones which use 3D printers. The technology is wonderfully useful in designing mechanical components. It also accelerates certain processes and significantly reduces development costs. There are many benefits of 3D printers.  Here’s the four most important ones in the automotive industry.

We should underline that 3D printing is not limited to large R&D departments of the largest car manufacturers. The technology is readily available to small and medium-sized companies. The user-friendly — but with advanced capabilities — Zortrax M200 3D printer costs around 1,900 USD. The 3D printer Zortrax M300, which has a large workspace, costs ca. 2,900 USD. These devices will quickly pay for themselves, if you actively use them. The largest companies have parks of a few dozen Zortrax 3D printers working 24/7 and generating significant savings. Why? What are the benefits of using 3D printing in R&D in the automotive industry? Here’s a few reasons.

ZORTRAX 3D printed motorcycle

3D Printing Accelerates Prototyping and Reduces Its Costs

3D printing technology is, first and foremost, the possibility of fast and inexpensive rapid prototyping. You don’t need to create moldings, you don’t need specialized machines for individual elements. One 3D printer will let you create prototypes of various elements which will become parts of the car. With 3D printing you don’t create waste, you only use as much material as you actually need, which also reduces cost. Only a few hours, maybe a dozen, will pass between the moment when the printer commences its operation and the moment you can start testing the part. You can also make a few variants of the component. Materials used by Zortrax 3D printers are durable and have differing characteristics, which increases testing possibilities. Once tests conclude, the model which was created for 3D printing can immediately be sent for high-volume production.

3D Printing Lets You Modify Projects Quickly

Fast printing and rapid prototyping also mean fast adjustments and modifications. Sometimes a product which is already being manufactured requires improvements. 3D printing lets you modify the element, test it and commence production in no time. You can experiment on different versions. You can also personalize objects and adjust them to your current needs.

ZORTRAX 3D printed motorcycle

3D Printing Helps Logistics

3D printers are small. The Zortrax M200 and M300 will easily fit on a worktable or desk. It’s crucial in a reality where space generates costs for the company. Above all, 3D printing makes it possible to easily send projects between two geographically distant branches of the company without using snail mail. This lets you save on shipping costs and avoid the risks of information regarding the project being leaked. You just need to send an e-mail with an attachment to your partners. They will 3D print out the model in their own 3D printer and the item will be ready in a few hours. Again, you save money and you save time.

3D Printers Can Be Used for Various Tasks

3D printers are, first and foremost, versatile. They’re not a production line designed to create one specific item. You can print whatever you want, one different element after another, with different materials. The  printer is not just for 3D printing car components in the automotive industry. It gives you the ability to 3D print all the accessories, tools, and solutions to support production. The printer will let you make a wrench, a bearing prototype or a miniature model of a concept car.

ZORTRAX Car model

3D printers such as those by Zortrax have opened a new door for the automotive industry. This is the perfect technology for our times, when both time and money is of the essence. 3D printing accelerates the work of R&D departments, reduces costs and revolutionizes how they work and search for new innovations.