Daimler Buses to produce spare parts via 3D printer

December 04, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Daimler Buses to produce spare parts via 3D printer
To satisfy the demand for rapid provision of high-quality parts, Daimler Buses intends to manufacture spare parts using additive methods in the future. From the end of 2020, these are to be manufactured directly in the BusWorld Home according to the customer's individual requirements.

With 3D printing, the bus division in the Daimler Group wants to respond quickly, flexibly, economically and environmentally friendly to urgent customer needs, for example, with rarely needed parts or special customer requests. This includes covers and handles as well as various individual holders.

Today, complex, non-safety-relevant 3D printed components are already in use for the interior of buses and coaches – to replace parts which were originally composed of several individual components, such as plastic covers for metal fastenings and hinges. In addition, Daimler Buses 3D Printing Center of Competence is currently examining more than 300,000 different bus spare parts in detail for their suitability as 3D printing parts - around 200 have already been validated for 3D printing.

In the next step, the company intends to consistently expand its business model with the aim of printing the 3D spare parts produced in-house directly on site for the customer in the future. In addition, the abovementioned Center of Competence is working on further optimizing the starting materials for printing so that the printed parts meet the requirements of upcoming specifications in the coming years. Metal parts for vehicle installation can also be produced using the 3D printing process. These spare parts are also more stable than conventional components, since 3D printing is a welding process on a microscopic level.

From the middle of 2020, Daimler’s service organisatuin Omniplus will also be supplying 3D printing of individualised interior decor parts according to customer requirements as a retrofit kit. These parts can be designed with their own decors and graphics and ordered in different surfaces (grained, smooth or other alternatives). The order is processed via an Internet portal, where customers can upload the customizing data directly. The parts can then be exchanged by the customer himself.

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