3D printing technology has brought many new features into our lives, greatly simplifying and improving some of its areas. Moreover, today, each desktop device for 3D printing can literally learn from the experience of other 3D printers to improve its own functionality. In addition, for greater flexibility and ease of use, such printers can be designed in a special way and equipped with applications similar to those that each of us uses in our smartphone. Now, let us talk about the benefits of 3D printing for cars.
This approach has a number of advantages:
Possibility of manufacturing any details.
It does not matter if your rearview mirror mount is broken, or if one of the gears of the gearbox – 3D printing allows you to reproduce an identical product of any degree of complexity.
All that is needed is a 3D model of the required component.
A wide selection of materials.
It is logical that the requirements for the elements of the mechanism and for the parts of the car body are different. Accordingly, the materials for the production of such components should be different. The modern 3D printing market offers a huge amount of 3D plastic with a wide variety of properties.
High print speed.
For example, 3D printing for auto small gears will take only a few hours. To make, for example, a part of the bumper, it will take more time, but even in this case it will not take more than a few days to create it.
One of the advantages of 3D printing is the fact that you can do anything with printed products. They can be sanded, polished, primed, painted, varnished, etc.
Very often, 3D printing for a car will cost you significantly less than buying the necessary component on the market. This is especially true for rare or exclusive parts.
3D printer for tuning
It is not uncommon among the owners of cars, as well as service stations, to buy 3D printers for tuning cars. Indeed, even desktop devices for 3D printing do an excellent job with the production of parts for auto-tuning of any complexity. The strength of modern 3D plastics is enough for the manufacture of a wide variety of components, which after installation can be processed in accordance with the appearance of the car. Luckily, when using the services of exotic car rental Boston MA, we do not have to worry about car tuning features.
The workshops, equipped for 3D printing details for cars, house various models of desktop and professional 3D printers. In addition, there you will find high-quality 3D plastic of various types, in different colors and diameters of the thread.
The biggest titanium car detail, printed by the 3D printer, was made for Bugatti Company
Volkswagen’s Bugatti introduced a 3D-printed brake caliper. The eight-piston monoblock made of titanium alloy has also become the largest functional part made using additive manufacturing technology (layer-by-layer manufacturing of three-dimensional parts).
The caliper is 41 centimeters long, 21 centimeters wide, and a bit more than 13 centimeters high. The mass of the part is less than 3 kilos, while the aluminum analog weighs 4.9 kilograms. The alloy used in the aerospace industry is used to make the 3D caliper — elements of the landing gear of aircraft and rocket engines are made of it. It is possible that this brake caliper will be installed on the Chiron car.
Bugatti’s partner is Laser Zentrum Nord, which owns the world’s largest 3D printer capable of working with titanium. The caliper printing process takes 45 hours. During this time, four 400-watt lasers sinter 2213 layers of titanium powder and create a part according to a predetermined program.
After that, the caliper is heat-treated to relieve residual stress and provide resistance to deformation. This is followed by chemical and mechanical treatment, which lasts 11 hours. MINI previously announced that it would use 3D printing to create personalized decorative elements. Using the online configurator, owners of British-made cars will be able to create the design of overlays for the center console, sills and body.
In conclusion, it is worth saying that additive manufacturing has not yet reached the peak of its functionality. Some functions and parameters of modern 3D printing devices are in desperate need of optimization. In addition, speaking of FDM technology, one of these parameters is the print speed of a 3D printer. We are waiting for the improvement of the 3D printing in the nearest future. However, the results, which we can see nowadays, are encouraging.