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From Rapid Prototyping To Auto Manufacture

- Jun 07, 2018 -

In recent years, 3D printing has developed rapidly and is growing at an average annual rate of about 30%. Compared with the growth of technology and business, media attention has increased significantly, and even overheated. However, in fact, 3D printing is not an artifact, and there are still many areas for improvement. At the same time, 3D printing is not a bubble, and it should attract attention from all parties.

In traditional manufacturing (reduced material manufacturing), the more complicated the workpiece structure means higher unit manufacturing cost, and the 3D printing has the same unit manufacturing cost regardless of whether the workpiece structure is complex or not, and the target market is exactly the market that requires complex workpiece construction. The more competitive it is. When 3D printing reduces costs, its target market will further expand. Low-cost, low-volume production, complex parts processing, component enhancements, customized products, green production, new supply chains and retail models have become the driving forces for 3D printing in industrial applications.

From the point of view of manufacturing patents, the current global patents for additive manufacturing are mostly concentrated on equipment, printing processes and applications. The lack of design and manufacturing of molding materials has also become one of the bottlenecks that hinder the further development of additive manufacturing technologies. At the same time, there are investment discontinuities in the development and application of 3D printing, which requires the government to support research and development. As an enterprise that promotes the development of additive manufacturing, it should also pay more attention to application.

  The application of 3D printing in automobile manufacturing has broad prospects. According to statistics, in 2017, 97 million new passenger cars are expected to be sold globally, of which about 25 million are domestic; the domestic auto parts market is up to 1,000 billion yuan. In 2014, automobiles accounted for 16.1% of the world's 3D printing applications; in 2019, the market size of 3D printing in the automotive industry is expected to reach around US$1.1 billion. 3D printing has the advantages of shortening the R&D cycle, lowering R&D costs, accelerating the time to market, lightweighting, low carbonization, flattening the supply chain, quick and personalized service, and making its application run through the concepts, R&D, and manufacturing of automotive manufacturing. The whole life cycle of maintenance.

Conceptual Design - 3D printing technology is widely used in the design of concept cars and will become an important technology supporting the development of future customized, high-performance automotive design and manufacturing.

  R&D—The Rapid Prototyping Department of General Motors of the United States has extensively used SLS and SLA3D printing technologies for product development, and has printed validation models for more than 20,000 parts and components;

  Direct manufacturing of functional parts - 3D printing directly manufactures metal energy absorbing devices with complex lattice structures, which can reduce the impact force caused by violent collisions of automobiles and improve safety performance; 3D printing directly manufactures complex structures, increases the contact surface area, and can improve the car Thermal performance of related parts. For example, the radar antenna manufactured and manufactured by Beijing Longyuan Co., Ltd. can achieve the complexity of 16,000 hexagonal conical holes with extremely high cost performance.

Overall, the current 3D printing automotive applications are mainly external applications such as exteriors, hydraulic systems, manufacturing processes, and exhaust systems. The future development will tend to: lightweight design and manufacturing, such as the design and manufacture of complex structures such as dot matrix and hollow, integrated design and manufacturing of parts and components, development and application of new carbon fiber reinforced materials, light alloy materials, etc.; automotive engines, power Direct molding of high-performance components such as transmission systems and wheels; vehicle design and manufacturing that breaks traditional automotive design concepts; 3D printing, smart cars, and after-market cloud printing services

   At the same time, 3D printing automotive applications are also facing the high cost of large-scale production, breakthroughs in key core technologies for the direct manufacturing of large-size, high-performance parts, and how to form large-scale access and applications under a mature industry standard system. And business models and many other challenges.

The combination of ICT technology and manufacturing creates smart manufacturing. As one of the core technologies of smart manufacturing, 3D printing is an effective supplementary tool, not an alternative tool. And, the right tool should be used correctly. Do not hold the ipad to dig the earth and blame it for shovels. Without changing rules, requirements, and expectations, 3D printing has many drawbacks compared to conventional manufacturing, so it cannot be used to replace traditional mature manufacturing methods. And if you change the rules, requirements, and goals, 3D printing as another manufacturing method, incremental development, it will bring a new era of design and manufacturing. For the future, we use 3D printing thinking to design, manufacture products and embrace smart manufacturing.

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