The United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR) released its “Roadmap for Automotive Additive Manufacturing,” to better understand and communicate the opportunities and pathways for more widespread, efficient and sustainable use of additive manufacturing (AM) in automotive production plants.
The scope of the roadmap includes all aspects of the manufacturing life cycle, from design to materials, manufacturing processes, operations, maintenance, and workforce. It provides a structure for engagement of the automotive industry with the AM industry and research institutions.
While the automotive sector has been using AM processes for decades, it has yet to become integrated into high-volume production processes. Challenges exist due to high cost of materials, equipment, and operations. The speed and reliability needed for high volume applications are not possible with current AM systems, which are used mostly in low-volume batch production. Through this roadmap, USCAR hopes to document challenges of current AM technologies and bring industry partners and research institutions to the table for mutual benefit.
“The ‘Roadmap for Automotive Additive Manufacturing’ represents an automotive voice in an effort to enable additive manufacturing as a commonly accepted part of the production of automotive components and vehicles,” says Steve Zimmer, executive director of USCAR. “Work like this is critical to accelerating development of additive manufacturing systems and materials that will work best to open the doors to industry-wide use.”