CNH produces its first 3D-printed spare parts

CNH Industrial (the parent company of New Holland, Case IH and other brands) has produced its first 3D-printed spare parts.

In doing so, it says that it has “taken a significant step in the implementation of Additive Manufacturing technology”.

The company says that it’s “part of a continued drive to streamline manufacturing processes, enhance productivity and find more sustainable ways of working”.

A spokesperson explained: “Additive Manufacturing, a synonym of 3D printing, is the process by which components are created from a digital file to build layers of material under computer control.

“Once printed, each part undergoes stringent testing to ensure it meets CNH Industrial’s requirements and specifications.

One of the main benefits of 3D printing is that it enables the local, on-demand manufacturing of spare parts. This is especially advantageous when only a small quantity of parts are required to satisfy specific urgent orders.

“It also leads to smarter overall management of stock and increased availability.

“Each product can be printed within 24 to 36 hours with the optimal amount of resources. Unlike traditional subtractive manufacturing, where raw material is removed or cut away, Additive Manufacturing is a precise process which creates less waste and leftover material, while at the same time minimising machine downtime.”

The first components created by this new process include four parts for use on buses and agricultural equipment.

All parts are manufactured in plastic. The company is conducting further tests which will “enable the future production of metal components using this technology”.