Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the automotive sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising additive manufacturing startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Additive Manufacturing Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of automotive technologies. For this research, we identified 469 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing additive manufacturing solutions for the automotive industry. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 469 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
3D Print Bureau – Digital Light Processing (DLP)
Automotive headlamps are tuned to provide ideal brightness and the lowest possible glare for drivers. DLP enabled headlight systems, in combination with programmable chipsets, allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to improve the driving experience. This drives startups and emerging companies to develop DLP-based 3D printing services for various automotive parts.
British startup 3D Print Bureau provides 3D printing services using DLP. The startup enables 3D printing at high resolutions, ranging from 25 microns to 100 microns. It also provides 3D printing of other automotive jigs and fixtures, low-volume customizable parts, and rapid prototyping services.
Zeal 3D Printing Services – Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)
Many automobile spare parts involve complex geometric designs and incorporate intricate details. FDM uses thermoplastic filaments and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to directly print parts with a maximum level of detail. Further, startups use FDM to support automotive manufacturers with prototypes for thermoplastic high-performance engineering parts.
Australian startup Zeal 3D Printing Services develops an FDM-based additive manufacturing process for automotive OEMs. With the help of thermoplastic filaments, this FDM-based process creates working parts and tools like breaking mechanisms and fuel systems. This accelerates the design-to-print timelines for automotive clients. In addition, the startup offers 3D printing technologies like Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Stereolithography (SLA), and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).
Nuburu – Blue Laser Technology
Additive manufacturing of products that require a coating of metals like copper or steel has useful applications in the automotive industry. Further, advancement in 3D printing technologies allows for new technologies like a blue laser. This technology enables better material absorption rates compared to infrared lasers and delivers higher speed and accuracy of 3D printing.
The US-based startup Nuburu offers additive manufacturing solutions with the aide of blue laser technology. Laser cladding and Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) use melted raw material as a surface coating. Blue laser technology enables copper, gold, aluminum, and other reflective metals to be 3D printed as a coating. The spot size of blue lasers is much smaller than infrared lasers and this results in higher printing speeds as well as higher resolution.
IEMAI 3D – Rapid Prototyping
Automotive companies use prototyping of parts or full-scale designs, for multiple purposes, including for testing forms and shapes. 3D printing of such prototypes involves considerably lower costs than actually fabricating the design. This opens new opportunities for startups to test new material combinations with low-cost multiple iterations, thus enabling rapid prototyping.
Chinese startup IEMAI 3D provides rapid prototyping services for automotive OEMs. With the assistance of additive manufacturing, the startup enables rapid prototyping and design iterations based on 3D printing results. This expedites the innovation design phase of automobile parts and spares. The startup also designs and 3D prints carburetors and steering wheels for testing efficiency and form.
Beamler – Additive Manufacturing Of Materials
Additive manufacturing with different materials also allows for designing versatile components and spare parts. These include materials that possess a variety of properties like elasticity, conductivity, and heat resistance, all of which have automotive applications. As a result, emerging companies use multiple materials for additive manufacturing various automotive components.
Dutch startup Beamler combines additive manufacturing processes with different materials such as silicone, stainless steel, and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). In combination with processes like DMLS, SLA, SLS, and material jetting, the startup enables automotive OEMs to 3D print complex parts for different automotive applications. Moreover, this solution offers higher levels of flexibility and customizations that allow for manufacturing more types of parts.
What About The Other 464 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence so you can achieve your goals faster. The 5 automotive additive manufacturing startups showcased above are promising examples out of 469 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.