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Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Materials for Automobile Applications

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Mechanics
Wordcount: 3319 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Introduction of Additive Manufacturing:

Additive manufacturing is the other form of Rapid prototyping and 3D printing. Material extrusion process was invented in the year 1989 whereas the 3D printing which the extrusion of metal and ceramic. This machine was invented at Politecnico di Milano. Additive manufacturing techniques include Rapid prototyping,3D printing, and direct digital manufacturing. Additive Manufacturing can be defined as the technologies that can be translated from virtual to a physical model in a fast and easy process, 2D cross-sections are fed into the additive manufacturing machine that combines the product by layer by layer method to print the physical part with the perfect geometry that has no variations for the manufacturing process[1], [2]

Fig 1:[1]

This is the basic principle that is being driven out in all the additive manufacturing machines mainly in 3D modeling machines. The eight steps that Additive manufacturing works are as follows

  1.                Conceptual and CAD modeling process
  2.                Conversion to an STL/AMF format
  3.                Transfer to Additive manufacturing Machine and STL file manipulation
  4.                Machine setup
  5.                Building the required product
  6.                Removal and the Cleanup process
  7.                Post-Processing
  8.                Application of the final component that is printed/manufactured.[1]–[3]

History Of Additive Manufacturing Of Metallic Materials For Automobile Applications:

Fig 2:[12]

In the year 1981, Hideo Kodama developed the 3D printing technologies namely Single beam laser cutting approach and vat of photopolymer that forms the product layer by layer and exposed to UV light for hardening. 3D systems were found in the year 1986 followed by SLA was the first 3D printer in the year 1987 in which the STL file format was known. The following are the development of metal additive manufacturing that was undergone as follows.[4]

  •                 Selective laser sintering (SLS)1987-1994
  •                 3D printing Drop on Bed (DOB) 2000-2002
  •                 Selective laser melting (SLM)2001-2004
  •                 Laser Engineered Near Net (LENS) 2000-2002
  •                 Electron Beam Melting (EBM)1977-2002[5]

In the year 1991 Kyoto purchased an automobile modeling unit from Mitsui. Additive manufacturing in the recent developments in the metal process which undergoes a point-wise method and the input for this process is metal powder melted using an energy beam and then extruded for the formation of the final product, and mainly the sheet laminations are being done in this process that is ultrasonically welded together. it opens up the wide innovations and the opportunities for worth taking advantage, aerospace industry in the automobile industry is paving the path with the disruptive technology. [1], [2]

Current Status of Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Materials For Automobile Applications:

  • Increase the productivity of product development: In the traditional method, the time consumption for printing was longer so now the time consumption is being decreased for printing the final design.
  • Increase the quality through prototyping: Various prototypes are done and tested before the final one is being printed so all the failures and analyzing can be done with the prototype and then the mass production will be printed without any failure in them.
  • Modified tooling: Tool is being done based on the product and it is used in additive manufacturing for the final design instead using in the traditional method to save the time and increase in productivity of the products.
  • Cost reduction of tooling: In the traditional method, we have to spend more on the tool for designing the tool separately using CNC for example whereas in additive manufacturing the tool cost is minimized and the printing will be done with a reduction to it.[6]

Reason For Using Additive Manufacturing To Fabricate Metal Parts For Automobile Applications:

Fig 3:[7]

The main reason for the Additive manufacturing of metals in the automobiles is for the lightweight components, [8]Good performances and reduce the products that are being assembled and are not happy through the traditional machining methods. The wide variety of technologies that grows day to day life helps the automobile appliances work easier and give a better outcome in their productions. And opens a new possibility that can improve the performance enhancements it helps even in the consumption of fuel based on fuel economy. [7]Bionic design was the recent adopted in the steering knuckle that saves the weight of 40% from the original one that became a real great success for the production department in automobile industry as well as there are many more innovations in the engine of cars and the body that has been changed to the carbon fiber that reduces weight and gives unbelievable performances.[9] As a global automobile design that was present before the innovation of this weightless manufacturer the parts were in high strength with more weight so to reduce the weight in the manufacturing sector, all the light-weighting products are done in Bionic designs. increasing the performance by the optimizing the design. [7][10]

Advantages of Additive Manufacturing of Metals For Applications:

  • Cost is very less when compared with other printing methods and the printing method is faster in additive manufacturing.
  • If we want to do any alterations in the final product before printing it can be done using the CAD file and the final product will be printed as per the needs.
  • The assembling process is nil when compared with the traditional methods, for example, the chains can be printed as the final in one metal.
  • Once when the STL file is done engineers are ready for the printing process followed by testing and analyzing instead of long wait time.
  • No skilled labor is required for printing the product.
  • Whatever products you come up with CAD modeling can be printed in Additive manufacturing.
  • Only required material for printing the product is being used and there is no wastage of materials.
  • If we want to print the product with our own design or color can be done in additive manufacturing.[11]

Disadvantages of Additive Manufacturing of Metals For Automobile Applications:

  • Time consumption for printing is longer when compared with traditional methods.
  • Cost is high when we prefer good quality in printing as well as if it takes extra time from the original time from printing
  • surface finish is not that good in 3D printing, so post-processing is required for the better quality of the product.
  • Small products which are lesser in volume can be printed mass volume is not efficient for printing.
  • Printing is done layer on layer formation, so the mechanical properties of 3D vary residual stress, the void formation which makes them vulnerable to defects.
  • Mass production is not applicable in this printing which affects the economic scale.
  • More knowledge in CAD profile is needed to form the product before printing.[11]

Major Additive Manufacturing Techniques Being Used To Produce Metal Parts For Automobile Applications:

“Major techniques of additive manufacturing drive the future of Automotive Industry”

Metal Jet Technology:


Fig 4:[5]

This technology is being announced for integrating the operations done in the industry on a day to day life. As of now a complete product (E.g. Car) can’t be done completed with the 3D printing technology in the present world but the parts in the product can be increased inimically from the printers. When we rise in the long term sequences the expectations in the unit numbers, as well as the technical requirements, are more in the current automotive industry.[8]

MultiJet Fusion:

Fig 5:[12]

The functional prototype or the tools being used in the industry results in the best properties ,durability and used in the production purposes has arrived in the manufacturing sector with the help of this technology that creates the complex parts faster that can help in with more configuration of producing the product from the scratch to a final finished product  can be used after the removal and the cleaning process. [9][10]

Laser Melting Technology:

Fig 6: SLS(Selective Laser Sintering) [13]

As per the growth in the technology in the current Additive manufacturing more parts will be created instead of dying casting to the present manufacturing process using the laser melting. Initially, variation in the design was assessed to fulfill the plotted boundary conditions before selecting the good condition that can be applied. [14]The manifold with the high-resistance allows the design to be thinner from which the weight is being reduced when it is compared to the traditional stainless steel or the cast-steel molding process that was being done in the earlier stage before the melting process.3D printing techniques and the test faster offers the high performances vehicles to have a good outcome with high performances is done with the help of this laser melting process.[15] Laser melting is the revolutionize in the present market of the automobile industry to manufacture the parts with the same quality as per the benchmark of the performance required in the world. In additive manufacturing the two laser processing that is being used is curing and heating.as they are the ideal candidates to use in the industry because the layer by layer formation should be solidified or joined together in a selective manner, when the laser energy is removed and left for cooling the molten materials rapidly solidifies which provides greater efficiency and lifetime for the product in the industry.[9][10]

Future Technology

In mass production, various technologies have come forward to solve the required needs such as the[9] EOS, Stratasys and Envision Technology. Dassault Systems, Siemens and Autodesk. In recent years General motors added up with Autodesk in a weight reduction of parts in the electric car parts for this they have taken a greater step ahead in the production of individuals metals using this software. Basically, 3D printing is on the rise when compared with another tech in the automotive industry. Many company’s such as Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, etc. has signed for their components that can be a “Secret Sauce” for the Automakers in the current industry.[8]

Example Of Additive Manufactured Metal Parts For Automobile Applications:

Fig 7:[8]

The above mentioned is a great example of a Porsche 911 turbo, which was designed in the thinner form and the design decreases the turbo lag and provides a positive feel. And it is printed using the 3D printer out of Inconel 625 metal powder which forms the solid part by the help of Additive manufacturing process. Which satisfies the unique properties and satisfaction of weighing when compared with the traditional one. Which has resulted in the best possible strength and properties.[7]

Current Limitations:

According to the authors research in their journals, (Craig A Giffi, Bharath Gangula, and Pandarinath Illinda) tell us that now the limitations that face in the current period is as follows

  • Low volume production: Additive manufacturing can print lesser volume production cannot print that has mass production in the automobile industry, As we all know that automobile industry deals with higher volume production so they mainly focus in this area in additive manufacturing and facing more difficulties to get through
  • Manufacturing large products: When larger products in additive manufacturing are printed due to their limitations they are assembled by welding or by mechanical joining to succeed in the industry.
  • Qualified candidates: Additive manufacturing deals with new technologies for CAD modeling and for working in the printing sector they need well-skilled candidates of space in which they work.
  • Intellectual property concerns: additive manufacturing has its own ideas and plans to assets without the worry of competition for a period of time in the market research if not it will end up with theft due to the industry up to date.[6]

Future and Thoughts In Additive Manufacturing:

Fig 8:[6]

Thefuture development of Rapid prototyping will be done by Direct Digital Manufacturing process that makes the work more comfortable and easier in the automobile industry. Additive manufacturing plays a major role in forming the product for the use in real-time instead of prototyping the original model that is to be used even mass production will be done with this printing. In my point of view if there is a machine that can do all the works in the same workplace helps the product development industry to withstand the male functioning of the parts by parts to the final process and can be used for the real appliances would be comfortable in our daily life span, All need the best products with the cheap price that can withstand the fulfillment of the current future innovation. This is my opinion to which the additive manufacturing in the automobile industry, In the automobile the components should be created in the lighter, compact integrated, more complex products and the parts with better thermal performance.


[1] T. Wohlers and T. Gornet, “History of Additive Manufacturing 2014,” Wohlers Rep. 2014 – 3D Print. Addit. Manuf. State Ind., pp. 1–34, 2014.

[2] H. Giberti, M. Strano, and M. Annoni, “An innovative machine for Fused Deposition Modeling of metals and advanced ceramics,” MATEC Web Conf., vol. 43, p. 03003, 2016.

[3] S. H. Huang, P. Liu, A. Mokasdar, and L. Hou, “Additive manufacturing and its societal impact: A literature review,” Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol., vol. 67, no. 5–8, pp. 1191–1203, 2013.

[4] Wohlers Associate, “Wohlers Report 2015 – History of Additive Manufacturing,” p. 34, 2015.

[5] G. N. Levy, “The role and future of the Laser technology in the Additive Manufacturing environment,” Phys. Procedia, vol. 5, no. PART 1, pp. 65–80, 2010.

[6] Craig A. Giffi, Bharath Gangula, and Pandarinath Illinda, “3D opportunity in the automotive industry,” Deloitte Univ. Press, p. 3D opportunity in the automotive industry. (2014)., 2014.

[7] John Pellettieri, “Automotive Applications Embracing Metal Additive Manufacturing,” light-weighting world, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://lightweightingworld.com/automotive-applications-embracing-metal-additive-manufacturing/.

[8] John Pellettieri, “Graphene for Car Industry,” light-weighting world, 2018.

[9] John Pellettieri, “Bonding Builds BETTER Vehicles,” Light Weight. world, 2018.

[10] T. B. Raju and D. Hithaish, “International Journal of Research in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering,” Int. J. Res. Aeronaut. Mech. Eng., vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 224–231, 2014.

[11] P. . Chad Duty, “Pros and Cons of Additive Manufacturing,” ACMA staff, 2014. [Online]. Available: http://compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com/2014/10/pros-cons-additive-manufacturing/2/.

[12] “google images.” [Online]. Available: https://www.google.com/search?q=multijet+fusion+images&safe=strict&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU812AU813&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjw7enfpNXjAhWXdn0KHbTfAiYQ_AUIESgB&biw=1368&bih=721.

[13] Dr. Xiaopeng Li, MMAN4200 Additive Manufacturing. 2019.

[14] T. Duda and L. V. Raghavan, “3D metal printing technology: the need to re-invent design practice,” AI Soc., vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 241–252, 2018.



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