Additive Manufacturing for Lower Cost Tools in the Automotive Industry

Moving from rapid prototyping to production applications and lower cost tools.

Additive manufacturing (AM) is making inroads into the automotive industry. Historically, AM was used primarily to produce prototype parts and models. Today, AM is also used to make tooling for assembly lines or to produce vehicle parts. One of the advantages of AM is conquering complexity. Additive manufacturing can create complex or simple shapes using the same process and with the same level of effort. The AM process can 3D print complex tools more simply than conventional manufacturing, which must use multiple processes such as milling, drilling, welding, etc.

ABSPlus-P430 automotive fixture

ABSPlus-P430 Automotive Fixture

A tooling example reviewed in this white paper examines a lifter component that can be made via AM for US$400. This is a savings of over $1,500 versus a lifter component produced by conventional manufacturing at a cost of $1,920. In this scenario, a total of 88 such lifter components is required, which sums to a potential savings of more than $130,000 for one production process.

As additive manufacturing (3D printing) capabilities evolve, so will its adoption within the automotive industry. This white paper explores the possibilities and offers evidence of notable opportunity in 3D printed tooling. Read the white paper to learn:

  • How the automotive industry has applied this technology
  • Where its possibilities lie
  • Which tooling application offers significant potential
  • How the cost savings add up

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