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Revolutionizing the Roads: Additive Manufacturing Accelerates EV Production


Benjamin Hughes

March 21, 2024 - 07:32 am


Pioneering Growth: Additive Manufacturing's Role in Electric Vehicle Production

BOSTON, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The electric vehicle (EV) industry is riding the crest of a wave, with a significant growth trajectory evident in sales figures from the past year. In the wake of a substantial 62% increase in electric car sales from 2021 to 2022, expert analysis from IDTechEx points towards a continued 16% climb in global sales during 2023. Amidst this expansion, the adaptive nature of the market was tested, particularly due to the declining prominence of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) in the European sphere, particularly through the first and second quarters of the year. This was largely due to a decrease in subsidies within Germany, catalyzing a shift in market dynamics. Nonetheless, the broad consensus underlines electric vehicles' position as the inevitable future of the automotive sector, most notably within the realm of passenger transportation.

The burgeoning EV market, on track to unfold into a colossal US$3.5 trillion revenue opportunity by 2044 as forecasted by IDTechEx, is stirring palpable excitement in the additive manufacturing (AM) field. With eyes set on seizing even a sliver of the electric vehicle manufacturing supply chain, stakeholders in the AM industry are bracing for the potential windfall that could significantly bolster its growth and revenue. This raises pivotal queries around 3D printing's realistic prospects in the sphere of electric vehicle fabrication, as well as the hurdles it may encounter. In IDTechEx's novel report, "3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing 2024-2034: Technology and Market Outlook," which intricately interlaces expertise in both 3D printing and electric vehicles, provides an in-depth exploration at the opportunities and challenges for AM in EV production.

For further insight into this detailed analysis and to acquire the IDTechEx report, interested parties can explore the comprehensive research here.

AM Advancements in EV Manufacturing

Explorative discussions with principal printer manufacturers and materials suppliers in the additive manufacturing sector have illuminated a multitude of opportunities where AM can introduce benefits to EV manufacturing supply chains. These include:

The Pursuit of Lightweighting

With the strategic use of AM, parts can be engineered to be significantly lighter, directly enhancing the range an EV can travel or creating space for additional components, such as larger battery units.

Streamlining Manufacturing Processes

Additive manufacturing presents a compelling pathway toward the consolidation of large assemblies into fewer individual parts. This potentiality speaks volumes not just about simplifying supply chains but also in the direction of driving down production costs.

Accelerating Speed to Market

The modernization of design cycle times is another arena where AM proves advantageous. By truncating production times and expenses linked with prototyping and the creation of tooling, AM stands to offer a velocity boost in transitioning EVs from the design stage to consumer availability.

Transforming Legacy Automotive Supply Chains

As the transition from conventional parts to those bespoke for electric vehicles gains momentum—encompassing batteries, electric motors, cooling units, and more—auto manufacturers are re-envisioning their supply chains. This restructuring opens a window of opportunity for AM to capture market share, particularly as companies grow more receptive to alternative technological solutions during this realignment.

Flexibility for Newcomers in the EV Space

The vibrant landscape of the EV market, peppered with startups, is especially conducive to embracing AM. Emerging players, unencumbered by entrenched supply chains, could leverage the adaptive nature of AM to sidestep the need for economies of scale in propelling their offerings into the market.

Navigating Challenges: AM in the EV Ecosystem

Despite evident opportunities, various industry insiders from the end-user spectrum of AM have delineated several challenges it faces in the realm of EV production, particularly when it comes to components geared towards mass production:

The Dilemma of Costs

When juxtaposed with conventional machining, casting, or molding approaches, most 3D-printed parts currently lack competitive pricing. Furthermore, even when AM can elevate performance or reduce weight, if it concurrently inflates costs—such as through meticulous post-processing—producers may balk at adopting AM.

Material Constraints and Supply Reliability

The AM technologies of the present moment do not extensively process the steel and aluminium alloys favored by automotive OEMs, coupled with concerns around the resilience of these single-source material supplies.

A Retrospective Bias

Institutional predispositions within sizable OEMs like GM lean heavily towards traditional manufacturing techniques, presenting an established rival for AM to surmount. The inherent risk aversion makes the introduction of new manufacturing technologies like AM undoubtedly challenging.

Throughput Limitations

The throughput of AM lags when measured against traditional mass-production techniques—posing a barrier to reaching the scales necessary for mass-market EV production.

Performance Satisfaction with Current Solutions

Many mass-market parts meet performance benchmarks satisfactorily, lessening the incentive for OEMs to adopt AM despite the potential performance enhancements.

Reliability and Quality Assurance

The risk-averse nature of OEMs necessitates that AM establish and consistently demonstrate reliability and consistent quality before it can be integrated into large-scale production endeavors.

Progressive Strides in Electric Vehicle Production with AM

Despite challenges, the AM industry is making headway in the electric car market, as evidenced by one of 2023's headline moments. Tesla's gigacasting is set to revolutionize the sector, which uses colossal casting machines to piece together significant portions of electric vehicle underbodies. Sand binder jetting plays a vital role in this process, producing casting cores integral to giant casting machines. With auto giants like Toyota expressing interest in gigacasting, this particular use of 3D printing may well herald a new era of impactful additive manufacturing within the electric vehicle industry.

IDTechEx's Projections for the AM Market

IDTechEx's fresh off the press report offers granular foresight, breaking down the market across eighty distinctive forecast lines spanning seventeen technology categories, four primary material types, and eight material subcategories. Exclusive interviews with over 150 market leaders and startups frame these insights, augmented by comparative technology studies, analyses of business models, and projections spanning a decade. To delve deeper into this burgeoning market and to obtain the IDTechEx report, please find further details here.

For a comprehensive array of research pertaining to 3D printing courtesy of IDTechEx, please visit IDTechEx Research on 3D.

IDTechEx at the Forefront of Market Research

An authority on emerging technologies and market dynamics, IDTechEx has been at the vanguard of providing trusted, independent research since 1999. Aiding clients in decoding technologies, comprehending supply chains, and identifying market avenues, opportunities, and forecasts are cornerstones of their services.

For queries or additional details regarding IDTechEx offerings, potential clients can reach out to [email protected] or explore the wealth of information available at

Connect with IDTechEx on Social Media

Engage with IDTechEx to keep a pulse on the latest breakthroughs in 3D printing and technologies by following them on social media platforms, including Twitter at, and LinkedIn at

Contact Information for IDTechEx

Lucy Rogers Sales and Marketing Administrator For further inquiries, contact Lucy Rogers at [email protected] Phone: +44(0)1223 812300


As IDTechEx's latest advancements illuminate the ever-evolving nexus between 3D printing and the electric vehicle market, opportunities and challenges are emerging in equal measure. From lightweighting components to the reimagining of obsolete supply chains, additive manufacturing is edging closer to becoming an integral part of the EV production process. While there are hurdles to overcome, such as cost considerations, materials limitations and established biases towards conventional methods, the industry is witnessing progressive strides with adopters like Tesla breaking new ground. With IDTechEx at the helm of research, the industry can continue navigating through the opportunities and challenges with informed decisions for a future where EVs and AM technologies converge seamlessly.


This news article is brought to you by IDTechEx.

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