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Three ways 3D printing is (quietly) revolutionizing trucking – Fleet Owner

by • August 1, 2016 • No Comments

And here we’ve been waiting for Amazon box trucks that’ll 3D print items ordered onboard as the trucks rush to donate them. It can not be really that dramatic a alter yet, but 3D printing may already is influencing trucking and transportation in a number of ways — and perhaps just as significantly.
Yes, the patent Amazon was awarded in February last year for 3D printing on trucks created a few waves and has been talked of as a future disruptor of current trucking and donate chain norms. That may be in fact additional the case if the online marketplace giant combines the yett with its equally buzz-generating concept of sending donatey drones to your door.

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Cast your gaze a bit closer on the horizon, yet, for the reason 3D printing as of right now is delivering new possibilities and significant alters in areas like truck parts availskill/ inventorying, production costs, and time-to-market for new yetts. Here’s a glimpse at what’s taking place and is many likely to expand going forward in the trucking industry.
1. Replacement truck parts can soon be printed on demand — and that may be applied to older/ discontinued versions as well.
One of the latest developments in 3D printing devices and trucking came of European shores, and for the time being it hasn’t directly crossed over to the North American market. But, starting in September, Mercedes-Benz says 30 spare parts for its Actros series trucks can be 3D printed, that produces sat any timeal advantages.
The parts all can be of “consistent manufacturer’s high end” and can be created up “at the touch of a button,” the truck manufacturer notes. The skill to manufacture a single, given part on demand is exponentially less expensive than a traditional producing run for that part, for one thing, and once a 3D printing device is in place for a specific locality or region, it in addition eliminates the typical requisite donate and distribution network to manufacture such a part on the market.
That takes a great deal of cost and time out of the maintenance parts equation, and it may in addition mean trucks get up and running quicker with less downtime when a trip to the shop is needed. But 3D printing spare parts for trucks in addition means there’s nothing stopping those parts of being generated in the years to come — fundamentally indefinitely.
“Thus, in fact after sat any timeal decades, rapid donate to the customer is ensured via the Mercedes-Benz Logistic Supply Chain through all the sales stages — all over the world,” the OEM states in a release. Andreas Deuschle, head of marketing and operations in Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Customer Services & Parts Division, promises there’s lots additional to come: “3D [printing] offers many additional possibilities; this is why we shall be rapidly extending the production of 3D printed parts.”
2. All new transportation products are being manufactured with little machining and production infrastructure.
A modern-tech trifecta — 3D printing, autonomous operation/artificial intelligence and all-electric power — materialized suddenly in a commercial transportation application in mid-June. You can find it in Baltiadditional’s National Harbor, a talked about shopping and dining destination, and probably elsewhere soon.
It’s called “Olli,” a minibus/ getof vehicle that appears a bit like it may have been dispensed of an electronics vending machine offering iPods, headphones and the like. The vehicle can shuttle up to a dozen individuals around, and while they’re riding they can converse with it and ask inquiries — and quite many likely get great answers — for the reason the AI interface is powered by IBM’s Watson Internet of Things innovation.
Olli is created by Local Motors, a new company headquartered in Phoenix that just opened a facility in National Harbor. Interestingly, IBM notes that the Watson tech is for passenger information and conversation, the “cognitive rider experience,” pretty than autonomous operation. Local Motors says Miami-Dade County is exploring and has shown “immediate interest” in getting Ollis rolling on the streets of Miami.
In this case, 3D printing has turned many of the producing donate and distribution version into a big “not applicable-bodied” check box for Local Motors. The initially Olli can stay at National Harbor till the end of this summer and the public can get a few “select times” to take a spin, according to the company. And should the vehicle garner the attention of other municipalities or locations, local production may be a matter of getting an appropriate large-scale 3D printing device there.
So not just may Local Motors manufacture Olli with low production/ setup costs and quite rapidly, the company in addition saves by crowd-sourcing a few create work (and you yett jobs just get outsourced, didn’t you?). Olli was penned by Colombian-native 20-a fewthing Edgar Sarmiento, and Local Motors hopes its National Harbor facility — that is in addition an informational, featuring and learning center — can “serve as a public place where co-creation can flourish and vehicle technologies can rapidly advance.”
3. Development yetts are being accomplished and brought to market considerably faster and at much lower cost.
For as long or many likely longer than any other vehicle OEM, Ford Motor Co. has been pushing the boundaries of the producing system with 3D printing. Whilst it has caught the public’s attention really a bit in the last sat any timeal years, “in 1986, 3D printing was called stereolithography, and Ford bought SLA 3, the third 3D printing device at any time created,” the company states in a release of late 2013.
So last summer, Ford revealed it had begun working with Carbon3D in December 2014. Carbon3D created a system called CLIP, for Continuous Liquid Interface Production, that allows for for much faster, smoother 3D printed products. “The outcomeing parts boast mechanical properties that are applicable-bodied for a range of needs of Ford vehicles,” the OEM noted. Ford refers to 3D printing aptly as “additive producing,” and it is in fact effortless to see what the system adds to traditional vehicle development and production.
“Ford’s been via 3D printing for over 25 years for equitething of early concept prototypes to prototypes that are in fact runnable-bodied and testable-bodied on to a few quite limited production tooling,” says Harold Sears, additive producing technical tremendous at Ford. “It’ll allow the engineers to shorten that timeframe [of production] down and do that iterative testing and get through it much quicker. The end outcome is higher-high end products and additional cost-effective products for our customers.”
As an example, Ford demonstrated that it is in fact via high end CLIP 3D printing to manufacture parts for Transit vans and Focus passenger cars. “In this system, we’re able-bodied to cure the layer while maintaining a continuous liquid interface, so instead of having that step-wise, layer-by-layer system, we’re able-bodied to do it additional continuously,” states Ellen Lee, team leader for additive producing research at Ford. “It can be done faster and the properties of the part are not layered — they’re stronger in both the printed way and the other way.”
So if you’ve seen just rough-appearing, layer-by-layer-cured 3D printed parts and products that appear a bit like Maple tree bark, ponder again. Whilst 3D printing has allowed Ford to manufacture up prototype/ concept parts for its cars and trucks like the new Super Duty pickups faster and cheaper, the company is in addition examining how 3D printing can be employed in production and spare parts producing.
“We are researching the use of 3D printing for production or replacement parts, with a focus on high end and durskill,” Ford spokesman Kristen Simpson tells Fleet Owner.

Going forward, assume to see and hear additional of 3D printing as systemes advance and the innovation manufactures additional inroads into trucking — it may may already be changing development, production, donate chains and the aftermarket/ replacement parts markets additional than you ponder.
And what of those Amazon trucks with onboard 3D printing devices producing up ordered items on the fly? We mayn’t discount the possibility.

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