In its research and development department Volvo CE , a subsidiary of the Swedish Volvo Group, uses multiple 3D printers to manufacture individual components that they use in turn to develop new construction equipment. The company also sees solid advantages in ensuring spare parts supply for older machines , as their reproduction using traditional, comparably time- and cost-intensive production processes is often inefficient.
At present, Volvo CE produces plastic parts for driver's cabs, air conditioning systems and cover components based on existing 3D models, product information and drawings. This will also help ensure that components made by additive manufacturing meet the same internal quality standards as the original products. Spare parts can be reproduced efficiently within a week in this way, even after production officially ends. Right now, the manufacturer is considering expanding its offering to 3D-printed metal components – and the company isn’t alone in thinking this way. Just recently, another car manufacturer joined forces with Ford, investing a total of 277 million US dollars into manufacturer Desktop Metal , which is currently tasked with developing an especially cost-efficient approach.