Aug. 26, 2014 | By Alec

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.

See the sneak peak of the current designs for the Mercedes S-Class that is due in 2018:

In an interview with AutoExpress concerning their progress on the next generation Mercedes S-Class vehicle, Mercedes' chief designer Jan Kaul hinted at exactly this. This 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, but 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.

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. 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 potentional 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].'

2018 is still far away, but as 3D printing technology is improving while the importance of interior designs is growing, we could be hearing a lot more about this in the near future. More news doubtlessly to follow…



Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Daniel Miller wrote at 8/27/2014 3:24:38 PM:

"we must be making [thousands of these] components to be sure the quality and cost [is viable].'" Did Jan Kaul say this in response to a question about the potential of 3D printing? One of the key characteristics of 3D printing is that the margins are the same from part #1 to part #1000.

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