The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global automotive 3D printing market for 2017-2021. Technavio presents a detailed picture of the market by way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources.
In recent times, technological advancements and rise of the Internet have greatly influenced the living standards of people. The current technology we use had proved to be a disruptive innovation during its growth period. It takes time for a technology to stand and consolidate before it shows off its true disruptive nature. 3D printing is one such manufacturing process, which will re-define development and innovation deadlines.
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Technavio analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global automotive 3D printing market:
- Introduction of low-cost entry level 3D printers
- 3D printing enhances the design capability
- 3D printing enables functional part verification during development stage
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Introduction of low-cost entry level 3D printers
HP has introduced an entry level 3D printer with multi-material injection technology, and Mattel has launched its first 3D printer at USD 299, called ThingMaker. This will bring the 3D printing technology to the household market. This affordable entry-level technology will fetch the volume that this market needs to develop and bring down the prices for high-capability 3D printers that are currently being used for industrial applications only.
Amey Vikram, a lead automotive manufacturing research analyst at Technavio, says, “The small package technology has a price offering, which will encourage tier-2 and tier-3 plastic parts, automotive suppliers, to experiment with it. The prototyping of smaller parts, such as dampers, bush, and bearing type parts, can be produced for design and testing purposes and can save on long development lead time.”
3D printing enhances the design capability
The 3D printing technology has been a boon for product packaging designers. The designer's usual issues are material capability, machining capability, functioning capability, fatigue life, and finally manufacturability. 3D printing has resolved these concerns up to a considerable level. The important point is that 3D printers add material right on the location as required by design. It starts from one face and builds it upward.
“Manufacturability issues that restrict a designer's thought process are negative drafts, undercut design, and tool manufacturing requirement. With the advent of 3D printing, the tooling requirement has almost been eliminated for critical designs. 3D printing has the capability to strengthen the local area by fusing in the material of a higher density,” adds Amey.
3D printing enables functional part verification during development stage
The verification of functional part is the most crucial factor, which is driving the application of 3D printing in the automotive industry. With the 3D printing technology in place, the part design can be instantly validated. This comes handy during the development cycle of a product, which can be completely new development or an engineering change requirement.
The physical design verification gives the option to judge the functional performance of the design as a part of the major system as well. This process is necessary during engineering change process, where the parent system remains same, and change occurs only in the re-designed part. The CAD validation process — finite element analysis (FEA) is accurate but cannot assess the physical condition and loads inaccurately.
- 3D Systems
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