By mmillikin Mercedes-Benz Trucks has introduced its first 3D-printed spare part made of metal (an aluminum-silicon material), a thermostat cover for truck and Unimog models from older model series.
In contrast to the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process used in plastics 3D printing, 3D printing of metallic components uses Selective Laser Melting (SLM). In the case of the thermostat cover, for example, the powdered aluminium/silicon material (ALSi10Mg) is applied in individual layers and melted by an energy source—usually one or more lasers.
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