3D Automotive Printing for Automotive Aftermarket Parts

December 10, 2022

3D Automotive Printing for Automotive Aftermarket Parts

3D printing is revolutionizing the automotive industry. 3D printing technology is being used in every phase of the automotive design and production process. Applications include design and concept, rapid prototyping, tools, jigs, fixtures, scale models, etc. BMW, Audi, Porsche, Ford, GM, and VW are just a few of the major automakers that incorporate 3D printing into their manufacturing operations.

Advantages of Using 3D Printing to Produce Automotive Parts

For automakers, 3D printing provides many benefits over traditional manufacturing techniques:

  • More cost-effective than CNC production with shorter lead times
  • Ideal for small/medium production runs
  • Ideal for producing customized parts
  • Production of parts with complex geometries
  • Print on demand
  • Faster
  • Wide variety of available manufacturing materials
  • Lower material consumption and less waste

3D printers utilize a wide range of manufacturing materials including plastics, thermoplastics, resins, carbon fiber, and metals. They can produce reliable, durable parts that are resistant to heat, shock, moisture, UV radiation, deformation, and other stresses. There are several types of 3D printers; FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) and SLA (Stereolithography) are the ones most commonly used for automotive applications.

3D Printing and the Automotive Parts Aftermarket

3D printing is also playing a major role in the automotive aftermarket parts industry, where 3D printing is used to create custom-designed auto parts as well as hard-to-find vintage replacement parts.

Customized Automotive Parts 3D Printing

One of the biggest applications of 3D printing in the automotive aftermarket is the manufacturing of customized automotive parts. Parts can be customized to be lighter, perform better, be more ergonomic, or simply for cosmetic reasons. Custom 3D-printed parts can include bumpers, dashboards, consoles, seats, headlight assemblies, rear-view mirrors, cup holders, custom frames, key fobs, grills, dashboards, hubcaps, lids, valves, and other specialized components.

Automotive Replacement Parts 3D Printing

If you’re into classic cars, you know how hard it can be to find suitable replacement parts. In some cases, it’s even impossible. And because of manufacturing and storage costs, it isn’t economically feasible for automakers to maintain inventories of older parts. 3D printing can be used to accurately reproduce just about any automotive component, no matter how long ago or where the original was manufactured.

Another advantage is that creating a 3D-printed reproduction of a hard-to-find vintage part is often cheaper than purchasing an OEM part. In most cases, people can’t tell the difference between the OEM part and one created in a 3D printer. You also have the option of customizing a part to suit your needs.

Houston, TX 3D Automotive Printing Services

If you’re looking for a quality manufacturer of 3D-printed automotive parts in Houston, TX, contact ProTek Models and 3D Printing. We provide customers with a wide range of options, including FDM 3D printing and SLA 3D printing services. Our team of experienced engineers and designers has the experience and knowledge to assist you in all stages of an automotive 3D print project.

Located just north of Houston in Conroe, TX, ProTek Models is a leader in automotive 3D print manufacturing. Our clients include Mitsubishi, Saleen Automotive, and West Coast Customs. Contact us through our website or call us at (832) 968-6636 to learn more about our services and get a free quote.