The commercial vehicles segment of Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG has fully integrated 3D printing into the development process and series production workflow for several of its divisions, such as Daimler Trucks North America and Daimler Trucks & Buses; in fact, the latter already features 3D printed parts built into the interior of its buses.
According to its website, Daimler Buses is the “leader in its most important traditional core markets,” and is now expanding its use of 3D printing for bus parts, collaborating with SLS leader Sintratec for the initiative.
“With 3D printing the Daimler bus division can respond quickly, flexibly, economically and environmentally friendly to urgent customer needs,” Ralf Anderhofstadt, the Head of the Center of Competence Additive Manufacturing, Daimler Buses, stated in a Sintratec press release. “The advantages of additive technologies, especially with regards to spare parts, are evident.”
Rather than utilizing external service providers, this coming year Daimler Buses will be setting up its own personal service bases, with the 3D production support of Sintratec. These 3D printing centers, to be used for the fabrication of both individualized components and spare parts, are a smart idea in terms of economics and logistics – it will only take a few days, rather than several months, to manufacture and deliver a 3D printed part, which produces much less waste and costs far less money.
Swiss high-tech company Sintratec develops and manufactures precise SLS 3D printers for professional purposes. The company’s materials are temperature-resistant and resilient, and its technology allows customers plenty of design freedom in creating complex objects for 3D printing.
Sintratec’s first desktop SLS system was successfully crowdfunded on the Indiegogo platform back in 2014, and the company has since moved on to bigger printers, introducing its modular, industrial Sintratec S2 system at last year’s formnext. This affordable, end-to-end SLS solution is perfect for education and training, in addition to fabricating prototype parts and small and medium-sized series.
The smart S2 has a modular construction, with the build chamber inside the Material Core Unit, but easily removable from the Laser Sintering Station. The system also includes an integrated powder mixing function, a Blasting Station and Polishing Station, and an additional Material Core Unit for convenient powder handling.
Now, Sintratec is excited to help contribute to the bus industry’s continuing digitalization. Recently, the S2 system was delivered to the Neu-Ulm, Germany production site of EvoBus GmbH, Daimler AG’s largest European subsidiary. The 3D printer will be used at this location to, as the release states,” convey technological know-how” at Daimler Buses’ new 3D printing centers, and to help advance the development, and optimization, of 3D printing materials.
“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,” said Gabor Koppanyi, Sintratec’s Head of Marketing & Sales. “We are very proud of this partnership and are looking forward to more fantastic projects where we can shape the future together.”
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