Porsche to 3D Print Spare Parts for their Luxury Cars
German luxury car manufacturer Porsche has recently announced that it will enter the 3D printing market. This move is to begin the development of spare parts for some of their classic cars so they last longer before becoming unusable. We recently spoke to another company aiming to 3D print all spare parts to classic cars, GRYP, which you can read here.
Previously, there have been problems around using 3D printing for metal parts as the technology was still in its infancy. Now however using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technologies, you can create metal parts with strong mechanical properties. This is in addition to 3D printing plastics for the plastic parts of cars. This has the potential to be a great cost-saver for Porsche as they won’t need to store any inventory and can just print on-demand. This is in line with recent research suggesting 5% of spare parts can be stored digitally, to be 3D printed when needed.
Porsche are not however the first car brand to enter the 3D printing industry. A few months ago, Volkswagen used additive manufacturing to restore their old cars, Bugatti have used 3D printing to create titanium brake calipers, and Mini have offered 3D printed customised car parts.
Porsche 3D Printing: testing their spare parts
Porsche first tested a 3D printed spare part in a Porsche 959, a collector’s car that is highly sought after. Using DMLS they 3D printed a lever release for the clutch, subjecting it to several resistance tests. The part exceeded expectations.
After this first stage, the company added 8 plastic parts to its digital spare part library, though this is still in its test phase. The parts are still being tested for their temperature resistance, fuel and light resistance, and more. Porsche are planning to add 20 more pieces following a pilot test, with the goal to expand their 3D printable spare part range considerably.
This is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. In 20 years perhaps our children will laugh when we talk about our classic cars being consigned to scrap heaps as we couldn’t find the replacement parts. This is only good news for any classic car fans – the future may mean you can bring engineering from the past back to the present, good as new.
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