World’s largest truck manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has a massive inventory of spare parts, and soon many of them will be 3D printed on demand.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks are using 3D printing technology to create genuine spare parts on demand, and making economic — and environmental — savings in the process.
Although we’ve seen this technology used to fabricate whole cars, larger automobile manufacturers have begun to recognise that 3D printing can also be useful on a smaller scale.
Daimler, the world’s largest truck manufacturer, now believes that “digital blueprints” will completely replace the need for warehousing and shipping parts from their global HQ in Stuttgart, Germany.
Instead, the blueprints for spare parts can be digitally distributed to a network of 3D printers across the globe, which can then fabricate the parts from hardened plastics.
The company disclosed on Wednesday that such a service is already successfully being used for truck parts like spring caps, air and cable ducts, clamps, mountings, and control elements.
Benefits of 3D printing for Mercedes-Benz
Since September last year, the company has been using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing processes to produce 30 different plastic truck components, with ambitious plans for expansion.
One major benefit of using 3D printing is that when it comes to low-volume parts — or even parts which are no longer being produced — it is easy to reprint them. This also offers an exciting prospect for manufacturers to create their parts from old model lines or catalogs, too.
If storeroom space is an issue, the technology means no space is wasted thanks to their instantaneous availability via 3D printing. 3D printing allows for the manufacturer to keep a consistent quality as well as choosing the quantity too, calling this a “one piece demand”.
It will be exciting to see how quickly car manufacturing changes thanks to the ability to order and supply car parts in a quicker and more economical way with just the press of a button.
Let us know what you think in the comments, and check out the video below to see how Daimer believe our trucks of the future will look.
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