After, BMW and Audi, Daimler the largest manufacturer of trucks in the world, has started producing spare parts using 3D printing.
They will start the production with small parts and then go onto a bigger scale of printing.
With the advent of 3D printing, there will be a massive reduction in costs as the databases will become centralized and the parts will be printed as per the given data. This saves the cost of shipping parts from different parts of the world to the location of use. But now printing will be done when required.
When a model goes out of production, the parts also become unavailable. But with 3D printing, the older parts will be manufactured when required. With all the information in the database, the parts can now be printed anytime with a 3D printer.
Brands still prefer traditional techniques for manufacturing and speed too is an obstacle. Once 3D printing overcomes the speed hurdle, it will be able to replace the $45 million metal presses that are employed for producing the body of the Daimler truck or Mercedes-Benz passenger car.
BMW is already using 3D printing for prototypes since the 90s, while Audi and the Volkswagen Group are even deeper into the technology. The German manufacturer recently created a 3D printing center for manufacturing steel tools and further aims to incorporate this technology in the production of SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, and Lamborghini.
Car manufacturers have the capacity to invest huge amounts in the R&D facilities and other manufacturing techniques that could help 3D printing grow as an industry. They could be a driving force for 3D printing to overcome the hurdles of speed, quality, and consistency in production. If 3D printing can displace the traditional production line in car making, it could pave the way for its commencement in other fields as well.