Today’s Pickup: Mercedes-Benz produces 3D printed truck part

 Mercedes-Benz has successfully produced a 3D printed thermostat cover.
Mercedes-Benz has successfully produced a 3D printed thermostat cover.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks, a Daimler brand, has successfully made its first 3D printed repair part.  The part, a thermostat cover for a Unimog model has passed all the stages of the stringent quality assurance process, Mercedes-Benz said.  

“With the introduction of 3D metal printing technology, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is reasserting its pioneering role among global commercial vehicle manufacturers,” said Andreas Deuschle, head of marketing & operations in customer services & parts at Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “We ensure the same functionality, reliability, durability and cost-effectiveness with 3D metal parts as we do with conventionally produced parts.”

The 3D printed metal parts are displaying very high strength and thermal resistance, “and the process is therefore particularly suitable for the production of mechanically and thermally stressed components required in small numbers,” the company added.

Mercedes-Benz envisions 3D printed parts to be used for peripheral engine parts made of metal, in-engine parts and also parts in cooling systems, transmissions, axles or chassis.

Did you know?

According to government data, trucks have an overall crash rate 29% lower than that of other vehicles.


“The particular added value of 3D printing technology is that it considerably increases speed and flexibility, especially when producing spare and special parts. This gives us completely new possibilities for offering our customers spare parts rapidly and at attractive prices, even long after series production has ceased.”

Andreas Deuschle, head of marketing & operations in customer services & parts at Mercedes-Benz Trucks

In other news:

Amazon’s autonomous plans

Amazon has designs to rule the world, it seems – or at least retail – and those plans are increasingly looking like a truly autonomous supply chain. (Quartz)

Financial concerns a major risk to supply chains

Financial concerns for businesses within a supply chain pose a great risk for all businesses within that supply chain. (Supply Chain Dive)

New truck stop coming to Joliet

The Joliet (IL) City Council has approved plans to add a truck stop to  on CenterPoint Way on Route 66. (The Herald News)

FMCSA streamlines ELD website

The FMCSA has streamlined its ELD section of the website to make it more user friendly and intuitive. (The Trucker)

Canada infrastructure projects take off

While infrastructure projects continue to stall in the U.S., north of the border in Canada things are going much better. (Washington Post)

Final Thoughts

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has successfully produced its first 3D printed part, a thermostat cover. But, the future of 3D-printed parts could mean that older trucks will have access to repair parts and dealers and repair shops won’t have to take up valuable shelf space for rarely purchased parts or special order those parts, reducing costs even further. 

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.