3D printing continues to be beneficial for a variety of different industries across the globe. Below are just a few examples of how 3D printing is currently helping truck manufacturers.
Replacement truck parts are eventually going to be printed on demand for both older and discontinued model trucks (Marsh). For example, in September Mercedes-Benz announced that nearly 30 spare parts for their Actros series trucks will be all 3D printed (Marsh).
(3D Printed truck parts for the Actros series)
A few different advantages this brings to the trucking industry include:
-Spare parts that can be made at the touch of a button
-Elimination of supply and distribution networking
-Less downtime for distribution trucks when a trip into a shop would normally be needed
Apart from replacement parts, development ideas and innovations are being brought to the trucking industry much faster and at a cheaper cost too. For example, Ford demonstrated using “CLIP” 3D printing to make parts for their Transit vans as well as Focus passenger cars (Marsh).
(3D printed bumper piece for a Ford transit van)
“In this process, we’re able to cure the layer while maintaining a continuous liquid interface, so instead of having that step-wise, layer-by-layer process, we’re able to do it more continuously,” stated Ellen Lee, the team leader for the additive manufacturing research at Ford (Marsh).
3D printing has come a long way in the Trucking Industry and it is not expected to decrease or slow down any time soon.
Marsh, Aaron. Fleetowner. 2 Aug. 2016. http://fleetowner.com/technology/three-ways-3d-printing- quietly-revolutionizing-trucking. Accessed 5 Aug. 2016.