That’s Elvis’s car now, after the BMW mechanics (and 3D printers) worked on it.
Lots of car makers are using 3D printed parts in their new cars these days – Ford and Mercedes-Benz, Audi and GM, even Rolls Royce. But the big deal about printing parts for older cars – is that sometimes a part just isn’t available anymore, or a replacement part would have to be custom-made ($$$).
We’re going to borrow a bit of the story here from the folks who cover this story regularly at 3D Printing Industry:
Talking about a Mercedes project to print replacement parts for its 1950s-era 300 SL Coupe, 3D explains: “One of the benefits of 3D printing is that it allows manufacturing directly from CAD [Computer-Aided Design] models without the need for the task-specific toolset.
“Using old 3D designs where available or by creating new ones from old 2D drawings, Daimler Groups has manufactured the obsolete parts…”
Porsche also is using 3D printing to make spare parts for its Classic cars (meaning older cars, and older means back as far as 1948) – to avoid the cost of stockpiling extra parts for when and if they are needed, or the cost of tooling up to make a spare part long after they’ve stopped making the original car.
How far can this go? Here’s what the motorheads at Popular Mechanic think:
“…now shops can scan entire irreplaceable cars for reference and use that information to print identical replacement parts in case of catastrophe. This ability means that they could also choose to print all the parts to create an exact clone of a priceless gem.”
And while that’s a high-end service now, the 3D printers, the scanners, the CAD programs – it’s all out there, and it only gets less-expensive and more available. Who knows, maybe one day, your next car buying experience will be: “Alexa, print me a car.”