Mercedes-Benz is continuously expanding its range of genuine replacement parts from the 3D printer. The brand has already been offering 3D printed replacement commercial vehicle parts since 2016, now Mercedes-Benz announced that further replacement parts have passed the strict quality assurance at Mercedes-Benz and are coming onto the market.
From the inside mirror base for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé (W 198 model series), to the spark plug holder from the tool kit. and sliding sunroof rollers for the W 110, W 111, W 112 and W 123 model series, Mercedes-Benz will supply these new parts through the use of 3D printing techniques. The 3D printing process is well-suited to smaller quantities and if the genuine tools are no longer available.
The 3D printed inside mirror base of the 300 SL Coupé (198 model series, replacement part number A40 198 811 00 25) can now be obtained from the service partner via the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center. Like the original, it is made from an aluminium alloy and subsequently receives high-quality surface chrome-plating. In comparison to the original, the new production includes a functional change: compared to the earlier original, the base is 42.5 millimetres longer and now measures 107.5 millimetres. This means the inside mirror sits a little higher and, in terms of road safety, offers an optimised view to the rear.
The spark plug holder (replacement part number A198 580 00 65) is also now available from the service partner via the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center. Particularly on a hot crankcase, it serves to position the spark plug before it is tightened with a spark plug wrench and the right torque. The spark plug holder made from robust thermoplastic polyamide 12 (PA12) includes a modification that the 3D print makes possible: instead of using a female connector, the spark plug is now securely held in place by a magnet. This means the holder can now be universally used for all spark plug types with and without SAE terminal nuts.
The sliding sunroof rollers for the W 110, W 111, W 112 and W 123 model series (replacement part number A110 782 00 30) are an example of a component part with a concealed attachment, which ensures flawless function: the rollers are on the left and right of the sliding sunroof and are guided by metal rails. With the new production from the 3D printer, the sliding sunroof of the classic now slides like it did on the very first day. It is also made from robust polyamide 12 (PA12) and, from the end of 2018, can be obtained from every service partner via the central warehouse in Germersheim.
The intensive cooperation between Mercedes-Benz Classic and Group Research in 3D printing will allow continuous expansion of the corresponding replacement part range. The spectrum of 3D printed replacement parts extends from engine components, plastic seals to instrument housing and small rubber parts.
Daimler has almost 30 years of experience in 3D printing in the production of prototype components. To date, Daimler has 3D printed thousands components in response to special customer requests and calls for replacement parts. These have included drawers, cover moldings, retaining strips, adapters, and surround rings.
Most of these 3D printed parts are metal, and are being produced with SLS 3D printers. Like most 3D printing methods, SLS proves economical for producing small batches of components, rather than huge numbers of them. The printers are speedy too: Daimler says it can get through the entire production process (from design to delivery) in a matter of days.
The announcement underlines Daimler-Benz’s plans to use 3D printing process for replacement parts for the company's entire vehicle range. "All printed replacement parts fulfil the high quality criteria of the Mercedes-Benz brand and correspond to the original genuine part in all its properties. This makes it possible for state-of-the-art, digital production technology to contribute to maintaining brand classics according to original specifications: 'Future meets Classic'," a statement from Mercedes explained.