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Porsche Is 3D Printing Hard-To-Find Parts For The 959 And Other Classics (jalopnik.com) 82

Porsche Classic, Porsche's classic cars division, has turned to 3D printing obscure parts that people might need on occasion. From a report: They already have about 52,000 parts available, but for the truly arcane ones, it's cheaper to 3D print them than make the specialized tools to create them over again. In addition to that 959 lever, Porsche is also 3D printing eight other parts. They are made from steel and alloy and the plastics are made using an selective laser sintering printer, which Porsche describes as: "A process where the material is heated to just below melting point and the remaining energy is applied through a laser to fuse the plastic powder at a selected point." So there you have it! The next time something is busted on your 959 or 356, don't cry and abandon the car, stalled on the side of the road. Call up Porsche. They'll science something for you.
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Porsche Is 3D Printing Hard-To-Find Parts For The 959 And Other Classics

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  • As a gear head, I can't wait until metal printing is affordable. Unobtanium parts are bane of my existence.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      And as soon as metal printing is affordable, intellectual property laws will become the bane of your existence.

      • by sinij ( 911942 )

        And as soon as metal printing is affordable, intellectual property laws will become the bane of your existence.

        They will be as successful as *AA at stopping music torrents. So not at all.

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Replicating a vehicle part will still have a significant cost, both in terms of actually making an accurate blueprint of the part, the time involved in 3d printing it, the cost of the required equipment and the cost of the raw materials. In many cases the 3d printed part might cost more than an original mass produced part, especially if that part is still being produced or the manufacturer has significant leftover stocks of it.

        If the manufacturer has given up selling those parts, then they'd have a harder t

      • Depends.

        If he would be trying to *sell* the parts for a profit on some eBay-liexpress-mazon website :
        Yes, he would be probably infringing some patents and/or trademarks.
        That's not different from current chinese crappy-cheap knock offs sold on the same site.
        Except that the guy is probably located in a jurisdiction where enforcing IP rights would be easier for Porsche.

        If he is building them himself to use them :
        Nope fat chance. In most sane jurisdiction, 3D printing his own parts to repair a car would fall un

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You can already print them in plastic or wax and cast your own pretty easily.

      • Yes, because casting aluminum, iron, and steel is "pretty easy"...

        • Yes, and cast parts have the same strength as forged or machined parts.

          • Yes, especially the ones cast by a random person in their back yard.

    • Now, the question for me is: as an owner of one of these cars, what would it cost to license the spare parts database so I can have a printing company of my choice make and finish the parts to my specifications?

      • by subk ( 551165 )
        Considering that there are only a couple hundred 959's in existence, I'd say a licensing effort would be pointless. They are no doubt charging dubiously huge fees for these 3D printed parts, but if you own a 959 money is already no object.

        Also, Porsche charges astronomical licensing fees for anything associated with their brand. Just look at video games for example.. Many times you will see RUF cars instead of actual Porsches in games because they want too much for licensing.
        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          Also, Porsche charges astronomical licensing fees for anything associated with their brand. Just look at video games for example.. Many times you will see RUF cars instead of actual Porsches in games because they want too much for licensing.

          Actually, that's not the reason why. The reason was EA had an exclusive license to use Porsche in its games Need for Speed and Real Racing. Exclusive, as in no one else was allowed.

          This agreement ended in 2016, after a 16 year exclusivity deal, which means you are now fr

    • If you have ever actually used 3D metal printing for small or fine parts, you will know it is not print and use. You need to spend some time finishing and fine detail (think gear teeth etc) don't work too well. Possibly they can improve it but chances are it will get worse when it gets cheaper. When we tried it the parts were unusable but we were trying to make parts that did not just look like something but were useful in a small unit. For something big and smooth like a lever seems like it would be ok. Th
    • Yes, quite.
      What we need next is some kind of machine that you can use to cur metal into shapes, perhaps using some kind of spinning tool and an x/y/z movable bed..

      Oh way, its called a milling machine, and combined with a tig welder, you can replicate a LOT of things without the problems associated with the random-and-unpredictable finish and strength of 3d metal printing.

      Metal printing will make 'easy' parts easy (remember, you have to come up with an accurate 3d model), and hard parts will still be hard.

      Th

    • I have a 1972 Eldorado convertible. It doesn't have excessive plastic, but some parts, such as the molding next to the back seat, which also holds the latch for the parade boot, are showing their age (and then some: that part showed it by disintegrating when I tuned the latch).

      Being able to print these would be a big deal. Cadillac isn't going to make any more, and it would be prohibitively expensive if they did. But if a straightforward ways mad to scan these, printing would be a truly desirable option.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Have we already gone full-on idiocracy [imdb.com]in just 12 years?

  • Aahh... no.

    Porsche - or at least Porsche North America - got out of the 356 parts business around 2000, and sold all remaining NOS stock to Stoddard

    Fortunately, I have all the weird and special bits and pieces for my 356c coupe- and there are some skilled artisans making 3rd party metal parts for what I'll have to replace eventually (door skins, etc)

  • You wouldn't download a car.

    But you will.
  • I can't wait for a torrent where I can just download the plans and print out a 911 turbo.
  • They'll science something for you.

    This sounds more like engineering than science -- 3d printers and laser heating sounds more like an application of engineering than science.

  • Finally!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @07:39PM (#56119061)
    I can finally get parts for my Porsche collection said no Slashdot member ever.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      As a Porsche owner and PCA member, I can verify that the prices are outrageous. My half shafts cost over $400 each, but I purchased the exact same items for a VW bus for $80 each. The OEM A/C slider knobs are $30 each, and the rubber sunroof seal is $120. The A/C compressor was $600 and was stamped Denso.

      I have learned quite a bit, and have performed much of the maintenance myself. Rebuilt power steering was ridiculous, but I did my own for $80 worth of seals (still a ripoff for o-rings).

  • Clearly the specialised tools existed at the time the car was manufactured, so why do these tools no longer exist? Were they destroyed?
    Surely it would make sense to keep such things for production of classic parts, especially for a manufacturer like Porsche.

  • This is a little more practical maybe. http://www.weybridgeusedcars.c... [weybridgeusedcars.co.uk]

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