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The Process for 3D-Printed Auto Parts is Fascinating

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Dec, 17, 2019—The process of 3D printing doesn't just mean cheap plastic parts anymore.

Papadakis Racing recently took viewers into a factory the company used to print a high-quality intake manifold for a 2020 Supra straight six engine that he made into a 1,000-horsepower monster. Road & Track had a roundup of the process.

The video shows the aluminum, which begins as powder, which starts by being laser-welded onto a base plate at a width of half a human hair strand. Layer by layer, the part was printed over 51 hours.

It's really cool stuff, and it's easy to see how it could impact the aftermarket parts industry.

As Road & Track noted, 3D printing is getting a lot of use in luxury car factories. NOLN, a sister publication of Ratchet+Wrench, shared a story in October about Rolls-Royce 3D printing a large piece of stainless steel that was plated in 50 grams of 24-carat gold for a custom Phantom. And why not?

Image: Papadakis Racing / YouTube

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