Engine assembly tool Liebherr Components Colmar SAS

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David Durbin

May 24, 2023

Reducing manufacturing waste with metal 3D printing

Liebherr Components is a specialist in the development and production of high-performing components. The components have outstanding quality and are distinguished by their sturdy design. Be it aerospace or the wind industry, Liebherr Components offers solutions for many items of equipment in a whole range of sectors and areas.


Liebherr uses an assembly tool to precisely locate the injection bridle during diesel engine assembly operations. To operate correctly, this tool needs tight clearances and thin-walled features.

High tensile loads between internal engine components can be built-up during positioning and installation. For this reason, the application needs to be printed in metal.

If using traditional manufacturing techniques, the thin features and custom shape would require a 5-axis CNC machine. Doing so would not only be expensive, but would also create a lot of wasted material (because a stainless-steel block would have to be milled down to the final shape).

MFFF Liebherr-Assembly-Tool-ultimaker-metal-3D-printing
The thin features and custom shape of this assembly tool would usually require expensive and wasteful fabrication with a 5-axis CNC machine


UltiMaker Cura makes it possible to print thin walls without distortion, enabling an accurate metal FFF part to be produced.

The additive nature of 3D printing means that only the material needed to create the part and support it on the build plate is used, greatly reducing the amount of waste material.

MFFF Liebherr-Assembly-Tool-in-use-ultimaker-metal-3d-printing
A perfect fit. The 3D printed part in use shows the tight tolerances it needs to achieve, while bearing loads only suitable with metal


Print time Weight Cost
5 hours 53 minutes 226 g $33.58

3D printing this part saved in material used and reduced production costs by up to 50% when compared to CNC machining.

Metal 3D printing made accessible

Liebherr Components is one of many companies realizing the difference metal 3D printing can make in their production.

Click below for more explore more MFFF application inspiration. Or discover how to buy the Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit for yourself.

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