Porsche prints parts for classic cars from lot size 1
Current 3D print technology facilitates cost-effective production, even for small lot sizes. Porsche is leveraging this technology to manufacture parts for rare vehicles.28 Feb 2018 Kai Tubessing
With production costs falling and quality improving, the Stuttgart-based car manufacturer intends to use additive production processes in the future to guarantee a better supply of parts in niche areas. Manufacturing new tools to reproduce special parts that are no longer available is generally not economical for the company. This is in particular the case for vehicle models like the Porsche 959 , of which fewer than 300 were produced. The division of Porsche dedicated to classic vehicles has therefore started using the metal printing technology of selective laser melting (SLM) to produce, on the basis of steel powder, new release levers for clutches, for example, which were originally only possible to manufacture in a more complex gray cast iron process.
The car manufacturer is also currently producing other parts, such as steel and alloy rims, as well as plastic components using selective laser sintering (SLS) printing, and plans to continue to extend production to further component groups. This ties in well with Porsche Automobil Holding SE’s overall strategy – in November 2017, the company announced its investment in two 3D printing companies . It is also anticipated that parts produced by additive manufacturing will be used in luxury cars in the future, too: Just recently, Bugatt i, in cooperation with Laser Zentrum Nord in Hamburg, put to the test a process for manufacturing high-performance brake calipers made from titanium .
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