Many will tell you that the negative change to General Motor’s fortunes that led to their near total demise was down to an inability to adapt: they failed to keep up with Japanese car firms using leaner manufacturing techniques and making the most of the latest technology.
It is now GM though leading the way with using the techniques and technology where the USA is leading the way. 3D Rapid Prototyping Services are not limited to the United States but American companies and University research departments have led their development. As for their use it has often been smaller companies that have reacted quickest to change how they use 3D Rapid Prototyping but larger companies like Black and Decker have moved over to rely on the technique at the prototype stage and GM have now done the same.
A huge amount of the costs of a car firm are in developing a new car, often models will come a long way through development before being cancelled, this is expensive. This means partly that car firms will not take risks and will develop less radical cars they are certain will be popular and also means that revisions are less likely even if feedback from a prototype throws up some good ideas.
With 3D Rapid Prototyping Services the cost of developing a car is greatly reduced; powerful 3D CAD software is important but there is also the fact that these designs can then be run through a 3D rapid prototyping service to create a prototype of any part either scaled or full size and completely accurately. These parts are produced for far less and far more quickly than previous rapid prototyping services took. The process can be used to create an entire prototype car if needed. If individual parts need modifying then replacement parts can easily be made having tweaked digital files. Scale models of cars, 3D printed with perfect accuracy, are used by GM in wind tunnel testing.
The time it takes a car manufacturer to react is important as well, this includes reacting to new cars from competitors who are winning share and also the time it takes to react to trends. Right now the trend is very much for more economical cars and president Obama has called for 56.2 mpg cars by 2025; consumers want to save as well with rising fuel costs and so the car company who reacts first stands to benefit. The amount of time it takes to get a new car to market has been drastically cut with 3D rapid prototyping services; also the accuracy means that a prototype shown to consumers for market research will get a much more realistic reaction than previous prototypes that never quite looked right.
General Motors have used the 3D rapid prototyping technologies to produce the Chevrolet Volt hybrid car, a quick reaction to allow General Motors to launch this car using their latest battery technology and tailored to what consumers want to buy right now. The award winning car is the most efficient sold in the US currently and is already helping to turn around GM’s fortunes and image.
About EMS: Since 2001 EMS (http://www.ems-usa.com) has grown to become one of the premier providers of 3D scanners, product design, rapid prototyping services, 3D scanning and 3D printing service. With almost a decade of experience in providing high quality service and products, we have helped clients across a variety of industries build and manage their ideas and bring them to life. EMS is based in Tampa, FL and has offices in Atlanta, GA and Detroit, MI.