If you think 3D printing is only for designers, for prototypes, for makers creating geeky objects, for DIY tinkering, well, you are wrong. You would be surprised to see how many big corporations have already adopted and integrated 3D printing/additive manufacturing in their manufacturing and production processes. Here are a few examples focussing on car parts. Perhaps you’re already driving a car with 3D printed parts?
Porsche Classic, the division of Porsche dedicated to classic vehicles, uses 3D printing to make out of stock spare parts available again, such as this small part. If you are the owner of a classic Porsche you do not want to hear ‘Sorry, but this part is not available anymore.’ Thanks to 3D printing it is possible to manufacture spare parts without expensive costs.
Daimler Buses sees the advantages of 3D printing replacement parts and in addressing individual requests from their customers. The part in the picture, a compartment for banknotes, is 3D printed as a whole instead of assembled out of several components.
The 3D printed heat sink corner lights were used in the BMW M8 GTE, racing in 24 Hours of Le Mans. By combining the cooling elements and the headlight housing as a whole, it was possible to produce a set of four headlights in just 72 hours.
Another fascinating example is the 3D printed aluminum intake manifold of Ken Block’s Hoonitruck. According to the website, it is the largest 3D-printed metal part ever installed on a vehicle (also up top).
BMW uses 3D printing for specialized car parts, for customization – as you can see in the last example in the Mini – and for tooling, amongst others. Reality is that over the past 10 years, the car manufacturer has 3D printed over a millions components. Well, that is what I call adopted and integrated.
Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.