Source: Additive Manufacturing Today
Mercedes-Benz Trucks has taken 3D printing a stage further with a 3d printed spare part made of metal. The 3d printed thermostat cover for truck and Unimog models from older model series has passed all the stages of the stringent quality assurance process at Mercedes-Benz smoothly, and is now celebrating its premiere.
“With the introduction of 3D metal printing technology, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is reasserting its pioneering role among global commercial vehicle manufacturers,” says Andreas Deuschle, Head of Marketing & Operations in Customer Services & Parts at Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “We ensure the same functionality, reliability, durability and cost-effectiveness with 3D metal parts as we do with conventionally produced parts.”
In the Customer Services & Parts division of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, automotive 3D printing began its increasing success in the production departments for the after-sales and replacement parts business a year ago. Since then, Customer Services & Parts has worked together with the researchers and pre-developers at Daimler AG to constantly improve and expand the use of the latest 3D printing processes for plastic parts. 3D printing of high-quality plastic components has now successfully established itself as an additional production method, and is particularly suitable for the production of smaller batches.
Metal parts from the 3D printer excel with their very high strength and thermal resistance, and the process is therefore particularly suitable for the production of mechanically and thermally stressed components required in small numbers. Metallic components can be produced “at the touch of a button” with any geometry and in any numbers. 3D replacement parts production began with rarely ordered aluminium parts. These excel with almost 100 percent density and greater purity than conventional die-cast aluminium parts. Apart from their high strength and hardness, as well as high dynamic resistance, their production requires no cost-intensive development work or procurement of special tools. Conceivable areas of use are peripheral engine parts made of metal, in-engine parts and also parts in cooling systems, transmissions, axles or chassis. Especially when they have complex structures, 3D-printed metal parts in small numbers can be produced cost-effectively as infrequently requested replacement parts, special parts and for small and classic model series.
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