Mar 6, 2017 | By Tess

German auto manufacturer Daimler has added a new 3D printing system to its arsenal of innovative manufacturing technologies. The automaker’s latest addition is the RICOH AM S5500P, an industrial polymer sintering production printer. The powder bed fusion 3D printer will help Daimler to drive forward its rapid prototyping capacity using advanced materials.

With a relatively large build volume of 550 x 550 x 500 mm, the RICOH AM S5500P can be used with a wide range of high-quality SLS materials, such as polypropylene (PP) and PA6GB. These materials, along with the capacity to additively manufacture them, can offer many advantages to the automotive industry, particularly for making prototype parts in a time and cost efficient manner.

Ricoh, headquartered in Tokyo, is a global tech company that has provided a range of technological solutions to businesses and individuals for over 80 years. In more recent years, the company has become active within the 3D printing industry, developing additive manufacturing technologies, including the RICOH AM S5500P SLS 3D printer, and an upcoming metal 3D printer. Most recently, the company partnered with UL to offer a 3D printing training program to clients.

According to a press release, Ricoh staff will be on hand to install the RICOH AM S5500P at Daimler’s facility, and will help to train and offer guidance to Daimler engineers, who will use the machine to both print automotive prototype parts on demand, and to help develop new applications.

“AM innovators are rightly demanding the highest quality of PP and PA6GB material printing,” said Greg Plowman, Head of Additive Manufacturing Business, Ricoh Europe. “The RICOH AM S5500P allows Daimler to extend its impressive range of 3D printing applications, while ensuring that prototype parts are printed as needed to aid product development. This agreement forms another landmark in the AM industry, demonstrating the ambitions that can be realized through a shared commitment to innovation.”

RICOH AM S5500P 3D printer

Other features of the RICOH AM S5500P SLS 3D printer include: dual powder distribution, advanced thermal control (meaning it can maintain small temperature gradients and offer high accuracy and repeatability), eight infrared lamps, heating of the build chamber from all six sides, and high machine reliability. The 3D printer has a footprint of 2,100 x 1,520 x 2,400 mm and an overall weight of 2,000 kg.

This is not the first time Daimler has worked with additive manufacturing technologies, though its RICOH 3D printer is the latest addition to its facility. In fact, Daimler was a relatively early adopter of additive manufacturing technologies, as it bought a large-scale metal 3D printer in 2012. Last year, Daimler announced it would also be 3D printing spare parts for Mercedes trucks.



Posted in Rapid Prototyping



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