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Stratasys is at the front of the 3D printing movement in auto manufacturing, bringing new tech and solutions that are reshaping how vehicles are made. With the auto industry needing speed, precision, and customization Stratasys has a diverse range of technologies to meet different needs, from prototyping to mass production. This article explores Stratasys’ vision, technologies, evolving auto manufacturing trends, automotive design, and market opportunities to give the full picture of its role and potential in the auto industry.
The auto industry is going through big changes, with manufacturers trying out advanced technologies to get an edge on the competition. 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, has emerged as a key solution to help companies streamline processes, cut costs, and improve product quality. As a global leader in polymer 3d printing technologies, Stratasys is in a great position to drive this change.
About Stratasys in Automotive Manufacturing Mission & Strategy:
Stratasys aims to lead in polymer 3D printing, targeting applications across manufacturing. In 2021 29% of their revenue came from manufacturing sales and they expect robust 20% yearly growth.
To properly represent Stratasys in the automotive manufacturing world, you need a deep grasp of the company’s tech, rivals, and where vehicle making is headed.
- Examples: Rapid Prototyping, Tooling, Functional Testing, and Replacement Parts.
- FDM® is the gold standard for accuracy in industrial 3d printing technology.
- Examples: Detailed full-color prototypes, fashion, dental molds, and medical models
- PolyJet creates multi-material, multi-color prototypes with stunning realism
- Examples: wind tunnel models, end-use parts, tooling, and molds.
- SLA’s tried and true precision is key for manufacturing.
- Examples: Rapid Prototyping, Dental, Jewelry, End-Use Parts, and Molds.
- P3 makes intricate, accurate parts in bulk with varied materials.
Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF )
- Examples: End-use production parts, spare parts, and prototypes
- SAFTM efficiently pumps out accurate affordable parts at scale.
- GrabCAD Shop, GrabCAD Print, GrabCAD Print Pro, and others
- GrabCAD software products support automotive 3d printing
Where is automotive manufacturing headed?
3D Printings’ Auto Evolution
3D printing started making its way into the auto industry by helping with new product design. The first 3D printers had limits on resolution and materials, so they were best for concept work. But printers and materials have gotten better in a short period of time letting leading car companies use additive manufacturing to get an edge across the whole production cycle. Nowadays, all the automakers and big suppliers are into 3d printing applications including prototyping and end-use parts. This Technology keeps improving too, so users can do more, opening new opportunities in the automotive industry.
The benefits of 3D printing like cost savings, customization, and sustainability, have made demand take off. One company sees a $40 billion market possible by 2025 growing to over $115 billion total by 2030. Old-school manufacturing makes mass customization not cost-effective. It also takes forever to develop new products, and limits design ergonomics, raising costs and time. 3D printing helps here, speeding up prototyping and production. It avoids the problems of traditional methods cutting the time and money needed for concept models and working prototypes. And it makes models that look more like the final product.
Making New Products
What Customers Want: Stratasys’ products help cut down on the time and money needed to develop new products or tooling, make realistic models and prototypes, and quickly churn out functional prototypes.
How They Do It: They use PolyJet, Neo stereolithography, and P3 technology to make super detailed prototypes. FDM technology helps them rapidly prototype functional parts out of strong thermoplastics.
Helping Traditional Manufacturing
What Customers Want: Stratasys tries to avoid production delays, work more efficiently, enhance safety, and reduce costs when clients need to make tools for new models and
How Stratasys Helps: They offer faster, cheaper alternatives to old-school tools. Their tools are lighter and more ergonomic. They can quickly whip up substitute tooling, Jigs and Fixtures to help develop new production line tools.
Business Opportunities and Uses
Stratasys’ technologies help automakers excite consumers and beat competitors by speeding up the design-to-concept car process. Their tech also improves product design functionality by making really realistic prototypes. The areas where Stratasys products can help are with Concept Modeling, Functional Prototypes, and surrogate “try-out” parts.
3D printed tooling can make a huge difference in Automotive Manufacturing in several areas.
Creating customized Jigs and Fixtures on demand. Types of jigs include Drilling Jigs, Boring Jigs, Sawing Jigs, Welding Jigs, and Assembly Jigs. Fixtures include Milling Fixtures, Turning Fixtures, Grinding Fixtures, Inspection Fixtures, Welding Fixtures, and Assembly Fixtures.
3D printing can produce End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) that is strong and lightweight. EOAT can be described as the “Hand” of a robot arm. These include Mechanical Grippers, Vacuum Grippers, Suction Cups, and spray nozzles to name a few.
The creation an injection molds using 3d printing is shown to be successful in several manufacturing environments. The success is due to materials that are constantly improving to be more durable. 3D printing that can create smooth molds can be used for several manufacturing applications including in the automotive sector.
The same 3D printer used for prototyping and manufacturing support can be used for production. Because 3d printing materials are improving dramatically the parts created can be used as a bridge to production. You can use what used to be prototype parts as end-use parts to bridge the gap from prototype to production.
Car components can be produced that go directly on cars. As the production scales, there are different strategies and challenges associated with each volume category. Typically involves specialized or custom products. The focus is often on flexibility and quick adaptation to changes. This often involves a balance between customization and standardization. The processes might be semi-automated. At higher volumes, processes are heavily standardized and automated. The focus is on efficiency, repeatability, and cost-effectiveness
In the context of production ramp-up, spare parts management becomes crucial. Ensuring availability and efficient distribution of spare parts not only supports the product throughout its lifecycle but also builds trust with consumers, as they are assured of long-term support for their products.
Stratasys looks like it’s leading a new era in car manufacturing with its innovative 3D printing tech. It’s got a diverse range of products for different uses and is strategically focused on meeting the evolving needs of the auto industry. So Stratasys seems well-positioned to capture a big market share. The continuous improvements in 3D printing, along with the growing demand for customization and sustainability, present huge growth opportunities for Stratasys in automotive.
So it seems like Stratasys is ready to drive transformation in the auto industry, using its advanced technologies and solutions to take advantage of growing market opportunities. Its commitment to innovation and quality positions it as a key player in shaping the future of car manufacturing. By understanding where Stratasys is headed, its tech, and the evolving manufacturing trends stakeholders can get valuable insights into its potential and prospects in this dynamic industry.