Rapid Prototyping Technology in Automotive Industry

Rapid prototyping involves the production of different parts using a 3D computer-aided design. It is a perfect way to convert your idea to a product. Rapid prototyping technology is widely used in most industries. This article is from may can help you get to know more about the application of rapid prototyping in the automotive industry.

The automotive sector is one that has significantly benefited from this kind of technology. Innovators in the car manufacturing industry can turn their ideas into a reality easily using this technology. Automotive prototyping is ideal for the production of high-quality products. Car manufacturers can also implement new designs.

How to Make an Automotive Prototype

There are three popular methods used to make an automotive prototype. They include:

3D Printing Applied on Automotive Industry

3D printing in the automotive industry is now essential for different manufacturing applications. It has widely been used to create an automotive prototype and also check their form. Today, there are more improved technologies for automotive 3D printing. A perfect example is fused filament fabrication (FFF), which is mostly used to produce an automotive prototype and other parts meant for end-use. Customer feedback is vital when creating different car parts. This is usually an essential step when developing an automotive prototype. If the 3D computer-aided design is given a thumbs up, it is sent to a specific manufacturer for printing and machining. 3D printing is widely used by most manufacturers in western nations for the production of automotive prototypes even though it is expensive, and one may incur a lot on labor costs.

CNC Machining Applied on Automotive Industry

CNC machining is the other preferred method for developing an automotive prototype. It is widely preferred because it is cheaper compared to 3D printing. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining involves the use of computer-aided software that automates different machining tools to create finished parts. Machining tools used include mills, lathes, grinders, and routers.

Programmed instructions are sent to a specific computer, allowing factories to manufacture parts quickly and with the required precision levels. CNC machines can be used in the production of different parts in the car industry. A perfect example is vehicle headlights. Milling the acrylic glass is vital during the production of various parts of a car headlight. CNC machining for the production of an automotive prototype is essential for producing parts with a quality finish.

The dashboard is another essential part of a vehicle. Most of them have a bigger model, so they have to be split into different bits. CNC is the most preferred method for creating a dashboard prototype, especially in China. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a thermoplastic material widely used in making this part of a car. It is highly preferred because of its toughness and impact resistance abilities. The dashboard is usually split into different parts for machining and later joined after polishing. They are glued together before painting. CNC machining of these automotive parts is cost-friendly and does not affect the quality test process. It is vital for creating components that are of the right fit for a car dashboard.

Soft Tooling  & Silicon Molding Applied on Auto Industry

Soft tooling is the best option for small quantity production. A perfect example is when producing less than 50 parts. Silicon molding is used during this production method. It involves the use of silicone rubber or epoxy resins. A program uses a quality automotive prototype part to come up with a flexible mold of the piece being produced. The actual prototype could be from a 3D printed one or a component that you supplied. Silicon molding is ideal for the production of working plastic parts. It is used to produce quality prototypes and final products used in automotive manufacturing.

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