Daimler Trucks will employ 3D printing in spare parts production
Daimler, the number one truck maker in the world is on the verge of using three-dimensional printing or simply 3D to manufacture spare parts. That’s a vivid example of how digital technology is radically reshaping car manufacturing as well as its supply chain.
Rather than shipping auto parts across the world, carmakers including Volkswagen and BMW are currently experimenting with so-called additive manufacturing.
The overall process suggests sending a digital blueprint of a particular car component to a printer, responsible for creating parts by utilizing lasers to melt corresponding powders into a variety of materials, including glass, plastic, ceramics and metals.
By simply printing new parts, carmakers will be able to save their logistics as well as warehouse storage costs and also manufacture complex components at low volumes.
Currently the technology isn’t ready to make high-volume car components, respectively, carmakers rely on conventional manufacturing methods for car components such as metal body panels, made by means of hydraulic metal stamping presses.