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Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

Posted March 15, 2018 9:00 AM by dstrohl

Own old cars, trucks or motorcycles long enough, and sooner or later a common problem arises: A needed part is no longer available. Porsche Classic has recently announced an innovative solution (for a select grouping of components, anyway), which raises the question: Can 3D printed parts eventually be the answer to owners’ and restorers’ prayers?

Three-dimensional printing, now part of a process commonly referred to as additive manufacturing, can trace its roots to the 1980s, but it would take until the early 21st century for the technology to jump from lab to industry. By 2010 or so, printers had become affordable and powerful enough to gain favor among low-volume manufacturers, where they were typically used for rapid prototyping of parts.

3D printing has gone mainstream and back again -- but can it breathe life in hard-to-finish restorations?

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#1

Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/15/2018 10:51 PM

Interested to find 3D printed sidelight & taillight lenses - yes, 3D printing will be a boon to classic & antique car lovers.

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Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/20/2018 9:30 PM

Friend of mine has been doing trim and the like on his H3 using his 3D printer... and with the graphite filaments, it’s pretty durable. They also have mirrored and clear filaments and well as a soft rubber. Don’t know about the mirrored, but the rubber filaments (used for making tires and the like for Remote Control toys)

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Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/16/2018 8:49 AM

I've been thinking this for years, maybe 10 or 20. It has been possible to do "cosmetic" (plastic) parts for many years, but not done often because of size limitations, and cost. It has become possible to do metallic "structural" (metal) parts in the last few years, but not done often for the same reasons. Another problem for both is the lack of a digital (STL I believe) file for the part. For folks with older vehicles, a part drawing usually is not available, so we need digitization, which I don't know enough about. A broken part could be glued together, or a bent part straightened in a computer, for digitization.

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Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/16/2018 11:48 AM

I've been involved for several years using 3D printing to make master patterns for antique car reproduction parts. I work with a patternmaker and reverse engineer parts ranging from carburetors to bumper brackets and back as far as Locomobile steam engine parts.

Jay Leno did a video once a few years ago where his guy used a laser scanner to scan a part and then 3D printed a pattern to make replacement castings.

With the new materials that have come on the market, plastic lenses are certainly possible. Probably no one has asked yet.

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Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/16/2018 6:13 PM

A good designer working from the 2D drawings could reverse engineer a part so it can be made on a 3D printer. Laser sintering metal is becoming commonplace, or even making a 3D plastic part modified so it can be a pattern for a metal part is possible. Structural parts should be made from the proper raw material, but these can be made using substractive technology ie milling/turning/welding. As an owner of a 82 bike, I'd resort to 3D printing a missing part instead of searching for a junker part. Could also improve on the design if necessary.

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Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/16/2018 7:09 PM

I'm in the process of selecting a cheap 3D printer capable of running wax filament to directly print wax patterns for investment castings. I have a really complicated 1/4 scale Westinghouse air pump for a locomotive for which I need gray iron castings and sand castings are having a high manufacturing failure rate.

I'm also looking forward to be able to use metal filled plastic filament that can be fired and sintered into a metal part, however the part shrinks about 20-25 percent. These filaments have become available over the last year. I have used a product called metalclay that models like sculpey clay, but is dried and sintered in a kiln to make a metal part. It also shrinks about 25%.

Most of the time drawings are unavailable and I get a worn or broken part to reverse engineer. I work mostly in SolidWorks and 3D print on a pair of Dimension SST FDM 3D printers using ABS plastic. After finishing to improve the surface finish the printings go to a patternmaker to be boarded if they are going to be green sand cast. If multiples are needed, he makes a dynacast mold and pours duplicate dynacast patterns to be boarded. The latest project is a 3/16 scale Otto stationary engine that is investment cast. The master printings are used to make silicon rubber molds used to make wax patterns. I have tried using sparse interior ABS prints directly as investment casting patterns, but residual ash from the ABS makes it necessary to add a sacrificial chamber at the far end of the part from the in-gate so that the first metal has a place to flush the residual ash out of the finished part.

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Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/16/2018 7:26 PM

they have 3d wax now that can be used in most 3d printers

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Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/16/2018 7:41 PM

Any information on suppliers of wax? This could solve many modeler's problems.

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Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/19/2018 10:43 AM

http://www.machinablewax.com/product.php?product=52

there are others also

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Re: Could 3D Printed Parts Ensure the Longevity of the Collector Car Hobby?

03/19/2018 11:13 AM

Thanks, and they even have the set-up parameters shown on the webpage.

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