Additive Manufacturing: The Way Ahead
The automobile and aerospace sectors are widely adopting the additive manufacturing technology to ensure cost efficiency, greater productivity and lesser turn-around times.
The global additive manufacturing & materials market was valued at 8.42 billion dollars in 2017, and is expected to reach a value of 35.10 billion dollars by 2023, at a CAGR of 26.86 %, according to a report by Research and Markets. Two of the core markets for this contemporary innovation are the automobile and aerospace industries as there is a growing need for developing lightweight components. It has also become the primary technology for developing various prototypes as it is cost effective and also saves productive time. Some of the leading automobile companies such as Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota and many more have all experimented with this technology.
3D Printing in Automobile and Aerospace Sector
For instance, Volkswagen claims it is ready for mass production of components by making use of the 3D printing or additive manufacturing technology. With the assistance of the ‘HP Metal Jet’ process, the German company has been able to improve productivity by 50 times as compared to other 3D printing methods. A Volkswagen vehicle requires 6,000 – 8,000 different parts and with the implementation of this technique the firm has been able to manufacture a large number of parts in a shorter period of time. On the other hand, Ford is already making use of the Stratasys Infinite Build 3D Printer to produce prototypes of large-scale one piece auto parts such as spoilers.
In the aerospace sector, additive manufacturing has enabled industry players to develop complex and intricate components which were earlier not possible with traditional methods. Today, this industry can print specific parts for applications in large numbers without it being a costly affair. As the produced components are lightweight in nature it further leads to fuel savings which is crucial for this sector.
This article was first published on MM International.
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