GM may become the first major automaker that will make use of 3D printing to create the necessary parts for their vehicles.
As car technology has grown and developed over the past several years we’ve seen a new style of production that can be added to the mix and offer us a way to have more of what we want for the future. 3D printing has been used for a variety of purposes throughout the automotive industry, but one company has announced it will begin to make use of this technology to create the parts you’ll see in the cars we drive on the roads in the future. This could be an amazing step forward.
3D Printing Makes Parts More Accessible
3D-printing allows a designer to receive a prototype of the part desired and eventually add it to the build of the vehicle being created. Many automakers have made use of the 3D technology to create prototype parts and vehicles that can be studied and enjoyed when it’s time for the company to begin to review a vehicle for the future of what the company will offer for us to enjoy driving. Now, it appears one company will begin to make use of this technology for vehicles that will actually show up on the market in the future for us to drive.
The Announcement and the Timing
GM has announced they will be the first company to make use of 3D-printed components in the vehicles that make their way to the road and the track in the upcoming years. This is in an effort to expand the current lineup to 20 new electric and fuel cell vehicles over the next five years. This goal has led to a partnership between GM and Autodesk which is a 3D printing company. This collaboration is called the Bay Area-Detroit partnership and will help make it possible for GM to step into the future of production.
A Starting Point for 3D Printing
To prove this concept and idea, GM and Autodesk made a seat bracket. While this isn’t the exciting component you might expect, the results certainly are exciting. This item used to be made of eight components but this new one was made of only one comprehensive part and is forty percent lighter and twenty percent stronger than the original. This item also uses less material in the process, which is a big part of the goal for GM and what they want to see from these 3D-printed parts that can become the items used in the vehicles built in the future.
3D Printing Still has a Long Way to Go
Unfortunately, we won’t see 3D-printing being used in the mass production vehicles for a while. The first place these parts will be used is in the high-end motorsports models that are offered by GM, but within five years, there will be parts in many of the vehicles we see on the road. In the future, you may have a GM car that has several 3D-printed parts that are lighter and stronger to make sure you can have the comfort and confidence you need when you head out for a drive. GM is ready for the future of production in its vehicles, I would expect others to follow along very soon.
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