Daimler 3D prints its spare parts

The logic is simple – you make spare parts where they are needed and eliminate transport costs. World’s largest truck manufacturer, Daimler, is now ready to use 3D printing to manufacture its spare parts. Others too, including car manufacturers like BMW and Volkswagen, are getting onto the bandwagon of additive manufacturing. This involves sending a digital blue print of a component to a printer which creates the part by using lasers to melt powders into plastic, glass, metals and ceramics. While the advantages are high, the technology is not yet ready to make high volume vehicle components like metal body panels.

daimler 3d

Come September and Daimler Trucks is ready to 3D print its plastic spare parts like spring caps, air and cable ducts, clamps, mountings and control elements. The company has more than 100,000 printed prototype parts.

Volkswagen and BMW have for long used 3D technology. BMW, especially, has been doing that since the 1990s to make components for the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Audi, on the other hand, is setting up a 3D competence center at its factory in Ingolstadt, Germany, to develop manufacturing of steel and aluminium components and is poised to make them from October.

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