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Mercedes Benz Trucks Introduces First Ever Aluminum 3D Printed Spare Parts

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has taken 3D printing a stage further: the first printed spare part made of metal, a 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. This means that Mercedes-Benz Trucks is now the technological leader in the challenging segment of cutting-edge 3D printing processes for metal components.

“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.”

Mercedes-Benz Trucks produces complex metallic spare and special parts in top quality using a new 3D printing process. The photo shows the working cavity of the laser printer at whose centre a metallic thermostat cover has been produced for the first time using selective laser melting (SLM). When the work platform is raised, the powdered aluminium/silicon material moves to the side and the contours of the component become visible.

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.

Last April Premium AEROTEC started the joint NextGenAM project with experienced partners EOS, the leading technology supplier for industrial 3D printing, and Daimler, the renowned automotive manufacturer. Together, they are working to develop the next generation of additive manufacturing (AM). Via this cooperation, the companies are laying the foundations for the implementation of this technology in large-scale serial manufacturing.

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