How 3D printing improves prototyping in automotive and aerospace industries
A prototype jet engine model with 3D printed elements.
In automotive and aerospace prototyping, large companies and startups alike face three major challenges
- Parts of prototype automobiles, airplanes, or spacecraft are one-offs which are expensive and difficult to make
- Outsourcing the fabrication of prototypes poses a risk to intellectual property protection
- Multiple prototypes are made before the final design is agreed upon by all stakeholders
Modern desktop 3D printers are easy to use, so the fabrication of prototypes can be performed in-house with no third-parties involved.
The design of each particular part can be quickly adjusted when necessary without causing significant delays to the project.
No tooling costs
A 3D printer can print parts of almost all imaginable shapes, so there are no tooling costs each time a new design goes into fabrication.
Wide range of materials
Modern 3D printers can work with a wide variety of filaments designed to imitate materials like wood, glass, or carbon fiber.