Girls in STEM

Update: Spotlight School Success

Update: Spotlight School Success

SUCCESS! Since electing Liberty Elementary School as our Spotlight School, we have come to adore the Liberty family more and more each day.  T

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Search articles, videos and updates on 3D Printing and its growing presence in our world

Girls in STEM

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

This week, we bring you a short video on a STEM'tastic educator! Scroll down to WATCH this educator doing what she does best - teachi

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Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Watching super cool EDUCATIONAL videos from across the web is one of our favorite pastimes! Join us in learning more about 3D printing in the clas

Science and Math

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the season for GINGERBREAD and working the delicious treat into your family - and CLASSROOM - fun. Last week, as students across the

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3D Printing Opportunities In Car Repair

By Staff Writter

3D Printing Opportunities In Car Repair

Technology

For those interested in 3D printing opportunities in the area of car repair, they should take a look at antique car restoration. There are many antique cars that are sitting around unused in garages for the lack of a single part. This is literally true because cars normally breakdown one part at a time. If the part can't be replaced, the car goes nowhere.

Jay Leno, the celebrated comedian, owns a huge antique car collection and has taken advantage of 3D scanning and printing technology to make his own replacements. First he uses a 3D scanner to produce a 3D digital model of the part. The digital information is then sent to a Dimension 3D Printer to make a plastic replica. The plastic part is then checked to see if it fits into place on the antique car. If it does, that means the digital model is correct. The digital model is then sent to a CNC machine where the part is fabricated.

The problem Jay Leno faced of reproducing parts that are no longer stocked isn't unique to him. There are thousands of antique car owners with this same problem. Asking a machinist to duplicate a part for you can be very expensive and can produce a less than satisfactory result. Certain types of transmission gears, can't be made by an ordinary machinist, and the few places in the world with such capability go out of business over time.

While Jay Leno uses a CNC machine to fabricate the final part, there are industrial 3D printers capable of making parts out of aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, low-alloy steel, and other types of metals. Antique car owners have plenty of disposable income to devote to their hobby and many have priceless cars they can no longer drive on the road because of the lack of a single part. This is an opportunity that is far from saturated. There is plenty of room for car enthusiasts to start their own business.

One company is already in this business. Fused Innovation, a subsidiary of the classic restoration shop Motion Products Inc, has reproduced entire classic cars using 3D printing technology. They can rebuild cars using components as they were originally designed rather than using modern components as substitutes. That this company exists and is making money, demonstrates that this market is real and viable.