3D Printing the Automotive Industry: Series Intro

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Chicago Auto Show 2019

This series is going to be about 3D printing in automobiles. Additive manufacturing and the automobile industry go hand in hand. In this series, we will outline what we should know about this industry as well as its connection to 3D printing.

We will try to look into specific car companies and see how they are leveraging additive manufacturing for their production. Some of the companies that we’re interested in are:

  • Honda Motor Company
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
  • Volkswagen Group
  • General Motors
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Hyundai Motor Group
  • Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance
  • Tata Motors
  • Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
  • Mazda Motor Corp
  • Daimler Auto Group
  • BMW Group
  • Subaru
  • Tesla Inc
  • Toyota Motor Corp.

I will try to leave my biases when talking about certain brands amongst those specific companies. I will focus on explaining the 3D printing technology used within these companies. It is also important to understand how this technology is leading toward a movement called Industry 4.0, and we will talk about what that means and how it is being leveraged in the automotive industry.

3D imaging for car design

We will also take a look into the aftermarket car part industry. It is easier to make aftermarket parts with 3D printing technology, and we will understand why it is the gateway to larger projects within the automotive industry.

Iterations of a BMW Roof Bracket made with 3D printing, which has come a series part. 

We will also take a look into startup companies in the automotive industry that are trying to push for change. These companies include:

  • Divergent3D
  • Local Motors
  • Hackrod
  • XEV

We will also be investigating what materials are necessary to build a car. So we will look into the material chemistry of mostly alloys and plastics that are common within the automotive industry. This will lead us to learn about metal printing and how that is helping to revolutionize this industry.

F1 3D Printed Open RC Design

The F1 driving series is something I am a big fan of. The F1 driving series also is very high tech in terms of how they are attempting to leverage rapid prototyping and 3D printing for cars. We will take a look into the different F1 teams and their technological development over their history, as well as the materials used for building such cars. With this series we hope to inform people on what the industry as a whole is doing in terms of development and 3D printing. So stay tuned for an expansive series, and be sure to chime in on other things you may want to know about as we continue to learn.

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