Car manufacturers are always trying to include as many of the latest technologies in the design of their latest models as possible, and it looks like 3D printing is not going to be an exception. For German giant Mercedes, following in the footsteps of their American competitors Ford, have speculated that 3D could be extensively used to design interiors in the near future.
Whats Cooking ?
In an interview concerning their progress on the next generation Mercedes S-Class vehicle, Mercedes’ chief designer Jan Kaul hinted that the new car, that is projected to be made available in 2018, could include a whole load of new innovations, such as gesture controls and infotainment tablets, and also 3D- printed components. Mercedes is looking to rebuild their reputation for beautifully-designed, slick and smooth interiors – which has recently been the forte of Audi and Tesla – and key to this seems to be lightweight, single piece and trim fittings and details throughout the car, and in this, 3D printing could be instrumental.
However, at this point in time Mercedes’ chief designer will not go any further than speculation, as it also news to be financially viable. When asked about the potential of 3D printing, he responded positively, but emphasized that “this is a question of margins – we must be making [thousands of these]components to be sure the quality and cost [is viable].’ Small, intricate components and details like air vents, dashboard features and speaker grills could benefit from 3D technology to make them stiffer, lighter and easier and quicker to manufacture.
This is all we have at the moment, but stay tuned for more news…