Economic assessment for additive manufacturing of automotive end-use parts through digital light processing (DLP)
Within the last years, digital light processing (DLP) became a viable solution for the manufacturing of end-use parts in various industries among other additive manufacturing (AM) processes. As the number of applications realized in a rapid manufacturing (RM) approach grows, it is necessary to understand the process economics better when moving from laboratory and prototyping applications into the cost-sensitive production scale. This paper presents a production-centered economic assessment of DLP production in the early product development process, based on Continuous Liquid Interphase Printing (CLIP). It is applied to an automotive exterior part case study to reveal expected process economics and estimate part prime cost for different printer sizes and automation concepts. A subsequent sensitivity analysis assesses the influence of relevant cost drivers and identifies opportunities for further cost savings when producing end-use parts with DLP. Results may help machine OEMs and application developers in cost optimization and decision making in RM.