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How 3D Printing Is Saving Rare and Priceless Cars

Lesedauer: min

What do you do when you need a replacement part for one of the rarest cars in the world? Just 3D print it out of metal.

The technology of 3d metal printing is helping to save the rarest cars in the world. Restorers can reverse-engineer rare or nonexistent parts and then print them out of Inconel alloys, aluminum, stainless steel or titanium, allowing them to save and restore the rarest and most complicated machines you can think of. Be it something ancient or a brand new prototype, the sky is the limit, and although the equipment needed for the job costs a million dollars today, a small run of parts can be commissioned for under $1000 already.

How does metal printing work? In short, the desired metallic powder gets melted by a laser and deposited layer by layer, replicating a digital model without the limitations and waste of machining:

Unsurprisingly, Jay Leno loves the idea. His team used to 3d-print oversized plastic replicas that could be used to create molds for metal casting. Now, when they need something for an early steam engine or a one-off aero race car, they can just send their request to their local shop, and for around $1000, they will make a perfect replacement part out of metals far superior to the original material.

It's still not a cheap solution, but with this new technology, there's no such thing as a hopeless project.

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