Automotive Prototyping & Parts Manufacturing
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Within the automotive industry, the malfunction or failure of a component can lead to catastrophic consequences. As such, it essential to fully test and evaluate any new part or product to determine whether it performs as intended before it is available in the market. For these operations, prototypes are ideal.
At 3ERP, we have extensive experience prototyping and manufacturing automotive parts, including for leading automotive companies such as BMW, Bentley Motors, Lamborghini, and Land Rover. We utilize rapid prototyping techniques to produce high-performance physical prototypes designed and built to pass some of the most rigorous verification and testing procedures available.
Advantages of Rapid Prototyping
In the automotive industry, there is constant pressure to achieve higher performance standards, including those regarding fuel efficiency, aerodynamics, connectivity, and security. By employing rapid prototyping techniques, manufacturers experience the following advantages:
- Shorter production times and lower production costs. One of the main benefits of rapid prototyping is how fast it is at bringing a product from initial concept to reality. Multiple product designs can be designed, tested, and evaluated in a shorter time period. Once a design is finalized, it can then proceed to production without the risk of needing costly modifications in the future.
- Easier product innovation. Rapid prototyping enables industry professionals to create functional models of a new part design quickly. Compared to conventional manufacturing methods, which carry more extensive design constraints, it also allows for greater customization of products to meet unique specifications.
- Greater supply chain transformation. Rapid prototyping changes how parts enter the supply chain. By using it to meet fluctuating market demand, industry professionals can reduce material utilization and waste generation, lower inventory costs, and support low to medium production runs.
- Safer, cleaner, and lighter part designs. Rapid prototyping allows manufacturers to design and develop safer, cleaner, and lighter parts. As the process comes with shorter design-to-delivery times than alternative methods, they can compare more designs before deciding on which is most effective and efficient.
Rapid Prototyping Techniques Employed by 3ERP
At 3ERP, we offer the following rapid prototyping capabilities for customers in the automotive industry:
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- For engine parts: aluminum machining
- For interior lighting, exterior lights, and headlights: acrylic machining
- For quick runs: injection molding and rapid tooling
- For short-term trial productions: reaction injection molding (RIM)
Precision Auto Parts Produced Through Rapid Prototyping
We are capable of prototyping interior, exterior, and functional parts at our facilities.
We produce prototypes for many interior vehicle parts, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, or console. By utilizing rapid prototyping, interior parts can be tested for various aspects. For example, steering wheels can be evaluated for their grip, dashboards can be verified for color, and consoles can be assessed for the amount of wear they show after use. The results gathered from these tests can provide insight into whether a design needs alteration.
The exterior parts we prototype include bumpers, headlights/tail lights, and door handles. Exterior part prototypes are generally tested for safety, such as how the bumper holds up in a simulated crash, how the lights perform in low light or rain, or how the door handles function with repeated use. Safety testing, such as failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA), can also be performed on exterior parts to evaluate the risk of failure in both everyday use and extreme conditions.
The functional parts that we can prototype include air components, engine covers, and air filter housings. Functional part prototypes are primarily tested to ascertain how well they perform within the vehicle. For example, the air components, engine covers, and air filter housings can be prototyped and tested to see how they function in the high-temperature environment generated by the engine.
Automotive Prototyping At 3ERP
At 3ERP, we provide automotive industry customers with rapid prototyping and services like CNC machining and CNC milling. Our expert team has the knowledge and skills to help bring new product concepts to life. For more information on our prototyping capabilities and how we serve the automotive industry, contact us or request a quote today.