3D printing drives automotive industry amid supply shortages

At this point, we’re all tired of hearing, reading and dealing with supply chain shortages. But the reality is that the issue isn’t going away – at least not any time soon. Many experts don’t expect the problem to go away for at least another year, and some estimate it to last even longer.1

With that said, how is the automotive industry working to maintain production of auto parts that are both useful and cost effective amid such a turbulent time for manufacturing? As it turns out, the answer is 3D printing.2

Of course, 3D printing in the auto industry is not a new concept. Local Motors was one of the first auto manufacturers to commercialize the use of 3D printing in the automotive sector by manufacturing chassis and body parts using giant 3D printers. Another example is Ford Motor Company, which uses 3D printers to make prototypes of resin, silica, powder, sand and metal for the manufacturing of its vehicle parts.3

And many other auto manufacturing giants like BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla, have already been using 3D printing in their manufacturing processes.3

However, the increase in raw material prices and tumultuous global economy have forced the industry – like many others – to figure out the most cost-efficient strategies possible.

When it comes to saving costs due to inflation, 3D printing can reduce lead time and the cost of prototyping and manufacturing complex parts. It also allows auto manufacturers to solve supply chain issues and provide localized and decentralized production.4

Even when the global economy – eventually – goes back to normal, 3D printing in the automotive industry doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. In fact, the industry will continue to boom.

To learn more about the growing global market of automotive 3D printing, we recommend looking at this recent MarketsandMarkets report obtained by Bloomberg. 

If you ever have questions, concerns or comments, chat with us directly through the DealerPortal or call our Dealer Operations Group at 1-855-4EXETER (855-439-3837).


1 DiGriz, Daniel. “Expectations for Supply Chains to Normalize in 2023 May Not Be Realized – CTSI-Global.” CTSI, CTSI Global, 11 May 2022, https://ctsi-global.com/2022/expectations-for-supply-chains-to-normalize-in-2023-may-not-be-realized/#:~:text=After%20two%20years%20of%20pandemic,the%20second%20half%20of%202022. 

2Truett, Richard. “3D Printing Comes of Age for Auto Industry, Easing Supply Problems.” Automotive News, 17 July 2022, https://www.autonews.com/manufacturing/how-3d-printing-helps-auto-industry-deal-supply-chain-problems. 

3“Automotive 3D Printing Market Size, Share, Trends (2022 - 27).” Automotive 3D Printing Market Size, Share, Trends (2022 - 27), Mordor Intelligence, https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/automotive-3d-printing-market.

4“Automotive 3D Printing Market 2022: Trends, Business Growth and Major Driving Factors 2030.” MarketWatch, MarketWatch, 5 July 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/automotive-3d-printing-market-2022-trends-business-growth-and-major-driving-factors-2030-2022-07-05?tesla=y. 

About Exeter
Exeter Finance LLC is a non-prime auto finance company headquartered in Irving, Texas. The company partners with franchised and independent auto dealers throughout the country to make car ownership a reality for consumers. For more information, call our Dealer Operations Group at 1-855-4EXETER (855-439-3837).