German automotive corporation Daimler is no stranger to additive manufacturing. In recent years, the company has exploited the benefits of AM for the production of prototypes and serial production custom parts. Notably, the company played a key role in the NextGenAM project with Premium AEROTEC and EOS to develop an automated metal AM process for manufacturing truck parts.
The company’s subsidiary, EvoBus GmbH—a bus manufacturer—has also turned to 3D printing, for the production of end-use interior parts. Up until now, however, much of this production has been carried out by external service providers. By shifting AM production in-house, EvoBus and Daimler will benefit from faster turnaround times for parts, lower logistical costs and a reduction in waste.
EvoBus has installed a modular S2 SLS 3D printer by Switzerland-based Sintratec at its facility in Neu-Ulm, which it will use for small- and medium-sized production as well as for training purposes. Daimler Buses, for its part, is preparing to launch its first service bases in 2020 for the production of 3D printed spare parts and small components.
“With 3D printing the Daimler bus division can respond quickly, flexibly, economically and environmentally friendly to urgent customer needs,” said Ralf Anderhofstadt, Head of Center of Competence Additive Manufacturing at Daimler Buses. “The advantages of additive technologies, especially with regards to spare parts, are evident.”
The S2 3D printer will also be used by Daimler to advance the optimization and development of 3D printing materials thanks to its easy material change system. The modular 3D printer, debuted at Formnext 2018, consists of all-in-one integrated and semi-automated processes for laser sintering, de-powdering, material preparation and surface treatment.
“Special thanks to the entire EvoBus GmbH team for letting Sintratec participate in this outstanding event and present our vision of the digital factory as well as our Sintratec S2 system,” added Gabor Koppanyi, Head of Marketing & Sales at Sintratec. “We are very proud of this partnership and are looking forward to more fantastic projects where we can shape the future together.”