10 Automakers using Additive Manufacturing today

The Future of Trasportation and Manufacturing

Juan Esteban Sierra Marin

The Challenges of the Industry 4.0 have been setting the pace of how companies stack up against each other adding a variety of solutions to their processes. Automation, Big Data, Blockchain technology, Additive Manufacturing and Decentralization are concepts that shouldn't be unknown for companies looking to innovate and be leaders in their specific markets.  

Today, Automakers are looking at their manufacturing techniques and how they can improve production efficiency as well as a faster workflow for new product developments.

This are 10 examples of Automakers using additive manufacturing today:

originally posted by Olivia Krauth in techrepublic.com


1. Ford

 Carmakers are using 3D printing for everything from custom details to creating over 75% of the car. With the technology, the design and production process could be expedited, potentially saving money and bringing cars to market faster. Spare parts, even for older models, could also be more readily available for service centers.

Ford has been developing ways to use 3D printing for car parts for years. In May 2015, the company used computer printed engine parts in an EcoBoost-powered race car, suggesting the pieces could stand up to the demand of racing. In March 2017, Ford announced it was testing creating large-scale parts using 3D printing, a process the company said was increasingly affordable and efficient.

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  Bugatti announced that it's testing 3D printed brake calipers on its Chiron supercar. Computer printing gives the automaker more wiggle room with the part, as the piece can be created in layers using titanium instead of the standard alumunium.  

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Car owners can create custom fixtures for their Mini on the company's website. The pieces are then 3D printed in Germany and shipped within a few weeks.  

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4. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz uses 3D printing to create spare metal parts for its trucks and some older models, the company announced in August 2017. The option to use a 3D printer to create a part may decentralize parts of car production, and could make it easier for car shops to have necessary parts in stock regardless of the car's age. Spare parts are also available for Daimler buses.  

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5. Honda

Honda partnered with Kabuku to develop an all-electric van, unveiled in October 2016. While the compact van uses a pipe-frame structure, the body panels and luggage area were created using a 3D printer.  

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6. Kia

Kia's first used 3D printing for its Telluride conceptual SUV design in January 2016. The printed components, used for interior elements like the dashboard, added a "distinct, modern design element" to the vehicle, the press release said. The car received a green light for production, recent reports said.  

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7. Toyota

In a collaboration with Clemson University, Toyota created the uBox, a car targeted to Generation Z buyers. Some aspects of the car, including the door trim, can be personalized and created using 3D printing. The brand also uses 3D printing to rapidly create prototypes of new car models, expediting the testing process.  

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BMW is using 3D printing to create a better top cover for its i8 Roadster. With the new technology, the piece is stronger and weighs less than its predecessor, the company said.  

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9. Volkswagen

Instead of using the technology to create prototypes, Volkswagen Autoeuropa uses 3D printing to make manufacturing tools for the assembly line. This can decrease reliance on outside vendors for certain parts and jigs, reducing slowdowns caused by waiting for a piece.  

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10. Local Motors

Local Motors' Strati was the first 3D printed car, with over 75% of the car coming from a computer in 2016. The company is also responsible for Olli, a 3D printed autonomous shuttle.  

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At Innovo we develop additive manufacturing solutions for manufacturing processes with strong and durable high performance polymers such as PEEK, PSU, PPSF and ULTEM, allowing us to replace metal parts and improve cost production for our customers. 

To know more about how we can collaborate on your manufacturing process contact us through the following link.

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