Restoring a classic car brings along with it some really challenging situations, especially when some obscure parts are next to impossible to source. We already know that 3D printing is slowly revolutionizing the whole manufacturing and production processes, and now the incredible technology is here as a savior for the world of automobile restoration. Porsche Classic, the German automaker’s in-house restoration division, has announced on Monday that it now capable of 3D printing new parts that would not otherwise be available. Porsche Classic currently stocks around 52,000 parts for various vintage Porsche models, but it is bound to run out of spares at some point of time. And it will be incredibly expensive to manufactures those parts in small quantity.
A 3D printer, on the other hand, capable of a selective laser melting process can make those same parts with ease and relatively at a much economical cost. Parts can be made on demand, eliminating the cost of tooling for a conventional production run and also storing it. The company’s heritage arm started testing the technology by 3D printing a release lever for the clutch of the Porsche 959, a car that hasn’t been offered since 1993. The part also easily passed Porsche’s stringent quality and mechanical tests. In addition to the 959 clutch release lever, Porsche said it is currently 3D-printing eight other parts made from either steel or plastic and is testing the technology to reproduce 20 additional parts. Porsche is not the first automaker to experiment with the technology; Mercedes-Benz and Ford both have already been trying to use 3D printing to reproduce hard-to-find parts as well.