Standardization of 3D Printed Parts in Collision Repair: A New Trend!


The revolution in the collision repair industry is ever so close, largely due to 3D printing technology. This revolutionary technology won’t only result in increased volumes but will also slash the cost and time required for repairs.

The cutting-edge method of manufacturing auto repair parts is radically changing the auto repairs and customization field. With companies focusing on producing top-quality, OEM-compatible repair parts employing highly-advanced digital supply chains, the future of automotive repairs appears very bullish.

Nonetheless, with this bright future comes the importance of a vital development: the formulation of industry-grade standards for 3D-printed materials and parts used in the collision repair process.

The need for standardization mainly arises from the necessity to maintain the quality and compatibility of 3D printed parts. Without such standards, there’s an enormous risk of variability in part quality, which could cause safety hazards and compatibility problems with existing automotive systems. Therefore, streamlining the production process and material quality would ensure that all 3D printed parts adhere to the stringent requirements of the automotive industry, much like those expected from traditional manufacturing methods.

One of the key areas to consider is consumer safety and trust. The safety of its consumers is fundamentally intertwined with the automotive industry. The presence of inferior or unchecked parts in repaired automobiles presents a blatant danger. The imposition of uniform regulations would guarantee that each 3D printed part is subject to comprehensive evaluation and quality assurance, akin to their conventionally made equivalents. This would not only protect consumers, but also heighten their trust in deploying 3D printed components for repairs, including specific parts like the headlight tabs.

The establishment of standards also diminishes the threat of dishonest entities utilizing subpar printers and materials to fabricate automotive crash parts sold as separate entities or used in the repairment of a busted component such as a headlight. This establishes unpredicted dangers for the collision center, which may unknowingly buy these low-quality 3D printed parts. These inferior components are destined to fail, imposing extra charges on the entire claims supply chain, from the insurance providers, the OEM to the collision center, and irritating the client.

Contrary to hampering innovation, standards pave the way for a structured framework where creative and technological breakthroughs can prosper. This systematic approach to innovation guarantees that the fresh leaps in 3D printing technology are both innovative and secure, encouraging growth while upholding high industry norms.

Environmental sustainability is another realm where standardization can bring notable transformations. 3D printing proposes a more planet-friendly technique for part production, which could potentially result in more repairs than replacements with new parts. With decreased waste generation and smaller carbon emissions, the standardization of the materials and techniques utilized can affirm that these environmental gains are uniformly realized throughout all 3D printed products.

As the collision repair industry continues to embrace 3D printing technology, the establishment of comprehensive standards for parts and materials is not just beneficial but essential. These standards will guarantee quality, ensure safety, facilitate regulatory compliance, encourage innovation, streamline the supply chain, and maximize environmental benefits. As the industry evolves, the implementation of such standards will be key to safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders, from manufacturers to end consumers, paving the way for a safer, more efficient, and sustainable future in automotive repairs.

Mario Dimovski, Director of Innovation and Transformation at Boyd Group and 3D in Auto Repair, will be participating at the upcoming Additive Manufacturing Strategies business summit in New York, February 6 to 8, 2024. Dimovski will be speaking on “Panel 1: AM for Mobility.”

Original source


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