3D printing can do some amazing things. Two brothers 3D printed a car. Heck, people have already used it to make guns. Clearly, the first thing to do with a sweet new technology is find out how to kill people with it. But not all 3D printing pioneers are Intent on mayhem. In fact, British company Mealysis is figuring out how to print car parts out of titanium.
The company’s pioneering technology makes use of titanium powder that has been processed from sand. That feat alone, in and of itself, is really impressive, and, if it works in the long-run, promises to make titanium much more affordable.
The 3D printing process that Metalysis has created isn’t quite ready for mass production, but it is already capable of turning out actual parts. So far, Metalysis has made turbo impellers for cars and parts of propellers for aircraft.
Machining parts like this from solid blocks of titanium is incredibly time consuming and expensive. 3D printing has the potential to make production simpler and cheaper, not to mention opening new possibilities.
I for one think that one of the most interesting uses for 3D printing when it comes to cars is classic car restoration. Anyone who has ever owned an old car knows that finding parts can be excruciating. When someone I knew had to replace the gas tank in their Triumph TR6, the price and the difficulty suggested that it was the last TR6 gas tank in existence.
Just imagine how nice it would be to order your own fresh custom made titanium parts.
I for one will be excited to track the progress of Metalysis and await the day I can get a new rear wing for my car.
(Main Photo Credit: Vagscene.com)