Mercedez-Benz restarts classic cars with 3D printed parts

Part of the Daimler Group, the German automotive corporation, Mercedes-Benz has 3D printed spare parts for classic Mercedes-Benz models in collaboration with the Daimler Research Group.

The luxury car W111 by Mercedes-Benz. Image via Mercedes Benz
The luxury car W111 by Mercedes-Benz. Image via Mercedes Benz

Reengineering the classic 

One of the benefits of 3D printing is that it allows manufacturing directly from CAD models without the need for the task-specific toolset.

This has made restarting old machinery possible by 3D printing spare parts. Two sectors have benefited from this are the farming and marine industry. The U.S Air Force has also used 3D printing successfully for this purpose.

In the automobile sector, Porsche, German sports car maker, has used 3D printing for spare parts for classic cars.  Moreover, Daimler itself has extensive 3D printing experience and previously worked with Mercedes on part customization using 3D printing.

In the latest venture named “Future meets classic” Daimler and Mercedes-Benz will manufacture 3D printed parts for 300 SL Coupé, SL Roadster, two Executive (E), two luxury-class models.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe. Image via Mercedes-Benz
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe. Image via Mercedes-Benz

Merging retro with future  

Using old 3D designs where available or by creating new ones from old 2D drawings, Daimler Group has manufactured the obsolete parts with powder bed method in metal and plastic.

One of the 3D printed parts available at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center is the inside mirror base for the 1950s sports car the 300 SL Coupé, one of the fastest cars of its era. Like the original, the 3D printed mirror base is made from aluminum plated with chromium metal. But the design of the mirror is optimized according to modern road safety standards.  The base is now 107.5 mm, 42.5 millimeters longer than the original and attached a little higher than before to give a better view of the rear.

In addition to this, a 3D printed spark plug holder is now also available for the 300 SL Coupé and the SL Roadster model. The spark plug is now made with polyamide (PA12), a strong plastic, and uses a magnetic plug instead of the old female plug. 

For the luxury and executive cars, such as the E class (W110 and W123) and luxury models (W111 and W112) sliding sunroof rollers will be available by the end of 2018. The sunroof rollers, which are attached to either side of the metal rails of the sunroof, are also made with PA12. 

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Featured image shows 300 SL Coupé. Image via Mercedes-Benz