Mercedes Masters 3D Printing, Makes Classic Car Restoration Easier

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3D printing is already redefining our world, and Mercedes just made the technology even better.

Mercedes-Benz is a company that built its reputation on new and amazing things. They created the first actual car, after all. For more than a century, Benz wowed the world with some of the most advanced technologies ever created. Now we can add one more to the list, as those crazy Germans just 3D printed an actual, usable car part from metal. 3D printing is not that new, and even printing with metal is already a thing. But Mercedes is the first to actually put it all together and create a useable part that can pass quality standards.

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The part Mercedes tested is a thermostat cover for an older M-B truck. That means Mercedes actually hit a couple of milestones here. This part is metal, it passed quality tests, and it’s a part that’s designed to handle heat and pressure loads. Making a metal bracket or interior piece that passes QC is one thing. Making an actual engine component that sees varying heat and pressure is another level on its own.

If you’re wondering why anyone should care, the answer is pretty simple. If you ever plan on owning an old Mercedes, you could be closer to gaining access to an entire catalog of new parts that don’t exist anymore. With this advanced metal 3D printing, Mercedes now has the ability to create small runs of special parts that have virtually disappeared. Do you need the door latch for a 300SL? Hit print and ship it. In theory, Mercedes could now print any part for any car they’ve ever built as long as they have the schematics or part in hand to replicate it.

It also sets up the market for much cheaper parts. Small batch 3D printing removes the overhead of machining tools, stock management, warehouse space and more. We love 3D printing and have already been experimenting with how home 3D printers work, can help organize your garage and customize your car. Now Mercedes just made us love 3D printing even more.

Christian Moe contributes to many of Internet Brands' Auto blogs, including Corvette Forum, Club Lexus and Rennlist.

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