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How 3D Printing is Changing the Car Industry

3D Printed Cars are going to be part of our future!

Shopping for a new car will potentially become an entirely different experience with the use of 3D printing technology. As soon as 2017, you might be able to order a new car online, have it 3D printed in just 44 hours and then shipped to your home in a couple of days, according to Local Motors, a company that develops cars using this technology. Here at S And D Auto Body, we love this period in automotive history where new technology is emerging every day. We see it all the time here in Monrovia, CA and that's why we enjoy sharing blogs like this one with you.

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the fabrication process used to manufacture 3D objects by adding layers of materials. Whether it’s being used to print car parts and accessories or create new design concepts from scratch, this method is predicted to be a trillion-dollar industry. Currently, car manufacturers are using 3D printing in innovative ways. In the future, it is expected to transform how products are developed, designed, manufactured and distributed. Supercars, Formula 1 and Concept Cars—such as the Strati created by Local Motors and the URBEE 2 designed by Kor Ecologic—are now using 3D-printed parts.

What are the Benefits of Using these Printers?

The first 3D printed vehicle. And, it's electric!

More Flexibility - 3D printing allows for more flexibility in design. Car manufacturers can offer more customization, such as lightweight lattice structures, parts made from more than two materials and hollowed structures with electrical wiring.

Time Savings - The use of this method decreases lead time to develop new parts. Production goes much quicker, allowing for the continuous production of parts. There is also more predictability by being able to deliver more vehicles in less time.

Lower Costs - Since car manufacturers will only have to produce necessary components with this process, it will reduce material usage and scrap, according to industry experts. New capabilities with this technology will also enable companies to meet consumer’s needs without having to incur significant costs.  

Lighter Vehicles - The advanced software used results in more complex structures, which are expected to be significantly lighter than traditional vehicles on the road. For example, the Blade supercar was made of carbon fiber, rather than conventional aluminum or steel, which makes the vehicle lighter and faster.

Better for the Environment - Although there are fuel-efficient vehicles currently on the road today, the manufacturing process used to make these cars is not always environmentally friendly. Cars produced with this process will reduce air pollution and offer better fuel economy.

Source:, MSN and Wall Street Journal

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