3D printing, everyone's first impression may be all kinds of plastic printed items. The main reason is that the most popular desktop 3D printers are basically using molten deposition molding technology (FDM), and the materials are mostly PLA, ABS, and so on. At present, the 3D printing technology for metal preparation mainly includes: selective laser sintering (SLS), electron beam selective melting (EBSM), laser near net forming (LENS) and so on.
Now, many auto manufacturers use 3D printing to make parts prototypes at the stage of R & D, and make industrial verification and modify the design. Of course, there are many companies that have been trying to print 3D for cars. The metal parts are used in the car, there are forged and cast, and most of them are cast. The mechanical properties and rigidity of the forged parts are better, and are generally used for important parts. The mechanical properties of the casting parts are not good for forging, and are generally used by non-important parts. At present, the shear resistance of the metal 3D printing parts is relatively poor, but other properties should be better than those of the cast ones, but they are only less than the forged pieces.
So a lot of car parts can be printed with metal 3D. Google, BMW and other giant companies invested in metal 3D printing company Desktop Metal. BMW hopes to speed up the use of metal 3D printing in the automotive industry.
1. The application scope of 3D printing in the automotive industry
1) 3D printing can be applied to the vehicle modeling. Through this process, the full size of 1:1 can be built according to the requirements of the designer. In the development of the whole vehicle, it is necessary to design, review and determine the appearance and interior decoration of the car.
2) 3D printing can verify the design of the reliability of products (parts, installation structure, strength etc.), but also in order to make up the vehicle design risk at the later stage of development caused by for the vehicle test, it needs to be verified in the design stage.
3) Similarly, faced with some complex parts, they cannot be manufactured by traditional manufacturing processes or the cost of conventional manufacturing is very high, the use of 3D printing process can solve them well.
4) Vehicle lightweight plays a decisive role in product development. With 3D printing technology, lightweight structural parts in plastics and even metal manufacturing become possible, instead of relying on single traditional technology.
5) Through the 3D printing technology, in addition to the parts of the car, the assembly parts, measuring tools and inspection tools on the production line are also applicable.
2. The advantages of 3D printing in the automotive industry
A car is planned from the product to the market for quite a long time, and the longest development of a new product will take 57 months. And it takes longer to do technical research. Through the 3D printing process, the production cycle can be greatly shortened. Enterprises can improve efficiency. Secondly, we can pay more attention to the reliability of the product in the process of development. Again, it can solve the problem of product production process, for example, some parts cannot reach the traditional process. In the cost of reducing the cost of product development, there is no need to make abrasives and specific production lines. Finally, the individuation of automobile products can be realized, and it is suitable for small batch and personalized manufacturing.
3. The shortage of 3D printing in the automotive industry
3D printing is still in the R & D stage, and it has not reached the level of maturity, and it can not replace the traditional process in a short time. There is still a gap in surface quality. It needs to be polished, dyed, electroplating, spray paint and so on. The selection of materials is still limited. At present, the overall industrial chain is not yet mature.
The new generation of automobile design pays more attention to the light weight of the body, the low consumption of fuel, the low noise and light vibration of the engine, so as to meet the demanding requirements of the environment. In this context, light metal titanium will be a major choice for future automotive applications. The titanium alloy will eventually play an important role in the production of the automobile industry. 3D printing powder, as a new technology, is also serving the automotive industry.