Mercedes-Benz manufacturers Daimler shifts rapid prototyping up a gear with Ricoh additive manufacturing

Multinational automotive corporation Daimler AG (ETR:DAI), headquartered in Germany, are adopting Ricoh additive manufacturing machines into their rapid prototyping process. The acquisition of a Ricoh AM S5500P machine is to support customer demand for advanced plastics.

Opening up Ricoh AM S5500P SLS machine. Clip via ricoheurope on YouTube

Greg Plowman, Head of Additive Manufacturing Business at Ricoh Europe, comments, “AM innovators are rightly demanding the highest quality of PP and PA6GB material printing” which are plastics commonly used for industrial applications, including internal car components (PP/polypropene).

Plowman continues,

The RICOH AM S5500P allows Daimler to extend its impressive range of 3D printing applications, while ensuring that prototype parts are printed as needed to aid product development. This agreement forms another landmark in the AM industry, demonstrating the ambitions that can be realised through a shared commitment to innovation.

Sharing additive manufacturing expertise

Ricoh are internationally known as an imaging and electronics company founded in Japan, 1936. The Ricoh AM S5500P machine is provided by the European branch of the business, headquartered in London, UK. The company will continue to work closely with Daimler, providing their additive manufacturing expertise at every stage of the process from design to post-processing.

The Ricoh AM S5500P uses the selective laser sintering (SLS) method of 3D printing.

The Mercedes-Benz “City of the Future 2030+”

Daimler make trucks and buses under their own name brand, and cars and vans for Mercedes-Benz. For the future of the automotive industry, Daimler are working on a autonomous car, targeted at the luxury end of the market.

The autonomous Mercedes-Benz F 015. Image via Mercedes-Benz
The autonomous Mercedes-Benz F 015. Image via Mercedes-Benz

Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, comments,

The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space.

This “mobile living space” is conceptualized as the Mercedes-Benz F 015 model.

Inside the Mercedes-Benz F 015. Image via Mercedes-Benz
Inside the Mercedes-Benz F 015. Image via Mercedes-Benz

In July 2016, Daimler also turned to additive manufacturing spare parts for their truck range.

For fully 3D printed cars, Arizona’s Local Motors are one of the leaders in the industry, having produced the Strati and the autonomous Olli bus.

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Featured image shows Mercedes-Benz past and present cars. Image via Daimler