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Jay Leno has an incredibly large car collection. For some of the older vehicles in his garage, you can’t just go down to a job shop and pick up a spare replacement part. In these instances you’ll have to take it to a machinist to reproduce a new part. This can become cost-prohibitive through the trial and error nature of reverse engineering a part. In order to cut down on the development time and ensure the final part being machined will match the vehicle, Jay and his crew use a NextEngine 3D scanner and Dimension 3D printer to produce functional prototypes they can test fit on the vehicle. [via Elephant Ninja]

If you had a one-off Ferrari engine, you could scan each part and then re-create the entire motor. Right now, we’re scanning a Duesenberg body. It’s a classic example of high tech melding with old tech. There are cars sitting in garages around the country, and they haven’t moved in years for lack of some unobtainable part. Now they can hit the road once more, thanks to this technology.

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.


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Comments

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  2. brookkeele says:

    Someone should make a OldMachineParts Wiki. A place where everyone can scan their parts and add it to a crowd-sourced 3d model library. That way anyone who has access to the machinery can “print/cut” the parts that are available.

  3. EvanC says:

    Oh, crap. That is a good idea. Wonder if all of those various subscription-based workshops around the country could be in on that project.

  4. I use a nextengine scanner sometimes, did some nice projects with one of their scanners. It works ok but don’t expect miracles. With 25 scans you can scan almost any not to shiny object. The software always seems to frustrate me, it has become somewhat stable and it is not the most complicated ever but still….
    A good scan will take the better part of a day and not an hour, keep that in mind and this product is something for you.

  5. jstults says:

    The direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process that he mentions gets you straight to a useful metal part without the intervening plastic part required in the process they are using. Lots more options than Cobalt-Chrome: Stainless, Aluminum, Titanium, Inconel. If lasers aren’t your thing what about electron beams for Al and Ti parts? Shapeways does wax printing, and then investment casts silver based on the print. There are so many exciting options now for rapidly getting very complex metal parts that are “unmachinable”.

  6. ChrisC says:

    There’s a joke about FBI copyright warnings and not stealing a car in there somewhere!

  7. jstults says:

    The direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process they mention avoids the need for an intermediate plastic part to make molds (or a wax print like Shapeways uses for investment casting silver). There are lots of alloys available for EOS’s machines: Aluminium, Cobalt-Chrome, Maraging Steel, Inconel, Stainless Steel, and Titanium. Arcam has an electron-beam based process that can do Titanium.

    1. Jack says:

      Aloha! i understand the technology(some of it) of 3DP, but what i dont understand is…2wks ago i had to replace a cluch plate made from steel it was 22yrs old & bent & also was not thick enought when it was org.made…thats why it bent over the 22yrs of use .
      If i had a 3DP Scanner i could have copied the Org. steel plate & also made it a little thicker….** my ?s is how could i have made it out of **Steel…or someother metrail that would be as strong, from looking @ Jay L. 3DP vido i could have only made it out of somekind of platic??….or did i miss something?
      I had a machinest make me a new one from steel..its flat w/ 3holes in it & about the size of your hand & about 3/4in thick…no big deal…he charged me $175., it was ready in 5days. Mahalo for your help….Jack Sheridan, Honolulu

      1. jstults says:

        Aloha Jack. Sounds like you got a good deal on your new clutch plate. It’s really unlikely anyone could have printed that part using DMLS for less than $175. The direct metal additive processes are really only competitive for complex parts that are very difficult or impossible to machine, or for alloys that are difficult to machine in the first place. Here’s a page on the wiki describing the details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_laser_melting

        1. Jack says:

          Tks. very much for Ur reply & i will ck the link U sent…B-4 i do (Please tell) me this, the 3DP that JayL has..can it make..Parts etc. from other materials than just plastic, as i saw on Jays video?… Well like the wrench he made…how could he have made it from a strong metal?..with the same 3DP that made it from plastic..or is that what Ur telling me…the cost of using some other strong material would bring the cost way up? Tks J.

          1. jstults says:

            You’d need a different machine than the one that Jay used to make the plastic wrench. EOS, Arcam, and 3DSystems sell machines capable of making a part like that from metal. An entry-level machine is about $600k (which is maybe ten or more times the cost of a plastic printing machine); the vendors running these machines have to recoup a considerable capital investment with every machine-hour they use to make parts for customers so the costs can be pretty high compared to traditional CNC. Of course, you can make things that are impossible with traditional CNC so the cost is sometimes worth it.

  8. stuffplus says:

    wow excellent idea,3d using Scan and printing particular parts damaged finding the error of the vehicles,i hope this,am watching this video excellent, valuable information thanks….. good technology……Replacement Car Parts

  9. You’re the man Adam, this is a great share. Interesting and great technology. Thanks man!

  10. Amazing! Great post Adam, but the video is no longer available. Now, I have to look after it. Nice share though.Thanks Man!

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