Lightweighting, mass customization, rapid prototyping, and production – these are all reasons that the automotive industry and OEMs have come to embrace additive manufacturing (AM). Especially with the uptick in the popularity of electric vehicles, additive has proven essential in quickly printing smart components, complex spare parts, and lighter parts that lower energy consumption and increase driving range for a single battery. As automotive OEMs keep up with ever-adapting supply chain dynamics, more are seeing the blatant value in direct part production, and the traceability of digitalized additive workflows.
To reap the full benefits of digital mass production, it’s essential to connect and streamline the digital thread from DfAM (design for additive manufacturing), through to post-printing. DMLS, FDM, SLS/MJF, and SLA/DLP/DLS and have proven to be the most popular print technologies in automotive, but in light of the benefits these technologies enable, the lack of digitized post-printing can impede otherwise streamlined workflows, resulting in bottlenecks.