How 3D Scanning and 3D Printing is Revolutionising the Automotive Industry

by | Dec 4, 2018 | Tips and Advice

Groundbreaking advances in 3D Scanning and 3D Printing have already had a transformative effect on how products are created. From design and development, to manufacture and distribution, this technology represents a new paradigm for production across virtually every sector. The potential applications are limitless, however for the automotive industry in particular, 3D Scanning and 3D Printing are changing the face of the industry.

The development of 3D scanning and 3D printing has opened doors for design innovation; cleaner, lighter, and safer products; shorter lead times; and lower costs. However, as this technology continues to evolve, the opportunity for automotive companies is tremendous.  3D Scanning and 3D printing are set to revolutionise the automotive industry. Let’s look at how.


3D scanning and 3D printing technologies, also referred to as additive manufacturing (AM) enable the rapid creation of prototypes without first creating specialised tools. This allows car companies to produce several versions of a product without significant additional cost, thus enabling them to quickly improve their product design and then select the best design after having reviewed the tangible properties of the alternatives. Whereas companies who have not adopted AM are limited by budget and time constraints in their design phase, those who have embraced the technology benefit from a distinct competitive advantage.

Design Flexibility

3D scanning and printing lends itself to design flexibility and customisation. The technology can produce multi-material component parts with fewer design restrictions than traditional manufacturing, thus opening a world of possibilities for customisation. This enables auto manufacturers to offer personalised features to their customers as well as a more varied offering on the whole.

Restoration and Repair

One of the key challenges to restoring and repairing vintage cars is a shortage of available parts and tools. If a car is no longer being produced, it can be nearly impossible to find what you need to fix or restore it. With the advent of 3D scanning and 3D printing, this is no longer so difficult. For example, it is possible to scan an old engine block, produce a 3D model and then print a mold to forge a new and viable engine block. This is an absolute game changer for vintage car enthusiasts.

More Efficient Supply Chains.

Additive Manufacturing techniques eliminate the need for final parts and new tools, thus reducing the amount of capital required for auto companies to produce high quality products for their customers. 3D printing also reduces wastage because only what is needed is produced. This has a significant impact on the amount of material used in production and therefore massively lowers the handling costs.  Furthermore, by eliminating  the need to produce tools and allowing for the in-house production of final parts, car companies can shorten lead time, be more responsive to the marketplace, and ultimately save money, shorten the supply chain, and better serve their consumers.

To learn more about how central scanning can help you with your 3D Scanning and 3D Printing requirements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01527 558 282, or email us at