SIGNIFICANT advances in additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, commonly known as 3D printing, over the past decade have transformed the potential ways in which products are designed, developed, manufactured, and distributed. For the automotive industry, these advances have opened doors for newer designs; cleaner, lighter, and safer products; shorter lead times; and lower costs.
While automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers primarily use AM for rapid prototyping, the technical trajectory of AM makes a strong case for its use in product innovation and high-volume direct manufacturing in the future. New developments in AM processes, along with related innovations in fields such as advanced materials, will benefit production within the automotive industry Introduction For the automotive industry, these advances have opened doors for newer designs; cleaner, lighter, and safer products; shorter lead times; and lower costs. As well as alter traditional manufacturing and supply chain pathways.
In this report, we not only look at how AM can improve the competitive position of automakers but also explore the four paths OEMs and suppliers can take to more broadly apply AM. We also explore the drivers supporting the use of AM and the potential challenges impeding its large-scale adoption in the automotive industry. For a detailed view on the different groups of technologies under the AM umbrella, refer to The 3D opportunity primer: The basics of additive manufacturing.