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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

New 3D Printing Technology is Keeping Old Classic Cars Road Ready

Locating hard to find parts for your classic car or truck may soon become a thing of the past.  Thanks to the technology explosion we have been experiencing over the past decade or so, we are now on the verge of eliminating the hunt for car parts all together.

Nearly two years ago we wrote an article about a classic car restoration company from Pennsylvania, with the help of a 3D printing firm, were able to replicate certain hard-to-find parts for a restoration they were working on at the time.

At the same time, a European 3D printing company were accomplishing the same thing.   They 3D printed a casting mold for a 1912 one-cylinder engine that may otherwise have been impossible to find or recreate.

How long do you think it will be before you are able to walk down to your local auto-parts store and order a part on the fly?  They will use a 3D printer to create the part you need.   Or better yet, have an inexpensive 3D printer right in your garage work space where you can make your own parts.

Until then we are keeping an eye on this fast-moving technology.  Just a few days ago, Porsche announced that they can now 3D print parts for their vehicles in-house.  The parts they are creating will be used for their ultra-rare classics as well as their high performance, limited production runs.

Cars like the 959 with fewer than 300 ever made, 3D printing solves the very expensive problem of having to tool for a conventional production run.  Porsche is taking full advantage of this new technology and are already manufacturing a clutch-release lever for the 959 along with 8 other products for other models.  20 more products are in testing which are expected to move to manufacturing rapidly.

Porsche isn’t the only automaker taking advantage of this technology either.  Right now, Bugatti is also 3D printing titanium brake calipers, Mercedes-Benz parent, Diamler started printing metal replacement parts for older Mercedes-Benz trucks, and Ford is doing tests of its own with 3D printing to see where it fits in best at their production facilities.

Local Motors 3D printed an entire car at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, so we are wondering just how many years it will be before we can dial up our local car lots and order a new 1971 Hemi Cuda reproduction.  “Sure thing sir, your Cuda will be ready in a couple of hours for pick up.   Thanks for shopping at Future Classics!”

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