November 2019

How 3D printing has influenced the automotive industry

Having worked on our first automotive project way back in the 1960s, we’ve had a long relationship with industry that continues to thrive to this day. Since the birth of 3D printing, car manufacturers from around the world have been quick to embrace the technology, adopting it for everything from creating car parts to entire vehicles.

The early days

Back in its infancy, 3D printing was used to prototype new inventions and designs, similar to our first experience within the industry, which you can learn more about by reading Our History timeline. Before 3D printing, we were using prototyping to create models for the likes of Reliant, as well as more unique vehicle designs such as the Lucas Electric Taxi, one of the world’s first electric vehicles. In 2013, we saw the world’s he first-ever 3D-printed vehicle created, containing a hybrid engine, three wheels, and capable of carrying up to 1,200 lbs.

3D printing and prototyping

One of the biggest advantages of 3D printing is the ability it allows to speed up and refine the prototyping stage of vehicle manufacturing. Bentley Motors Ltd., for example, almost always use 3D printing to create miniature models for any new feature. During the prototyping stage, designers and engineers are able to use 3D printing to create multiple prototypes to test a number of functions, speeding up the design process significantly.

From market leaders to the next generation

Here at Ogle, we’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the automotive industry. Recent examples include being commissioned by Jaguar to produce a complicated interior gear change console for their C-X75 model together with a full set of the exterior front and rear lenses. At the other end of the spectrum, over the past couple of years we’ve worked with Coventry University’s Phoenix Racing team using selective laser sintering (SLS) technology to print the race car’s intake runners.

Your project

As we look into the future of 3D printing, the limit of possible uses seems endless. The expert team at Ogle can produce any interior and exterior automotive components – all finished to exceptionally high standards. To speak to the team here at Ogle about your project, call us 01462 682661.

Want to talk?

For more information about this article or to speak to one of our expert team, call us
on +44 (0) 1462 682 661 or email us at [email protected].