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The 3D Printer comes of age – making parts you can’t get anywhere else

3Dprinter small The 3D Printer comes of age   making parts you cant get anywhere else

I stumbled across this amazing story of US television host Jay Leno using a 3D scanner and printer to create obsolete spare parts for his car collection and was immediately transported into a world of science fiction wonder. How cool is this technology? OK, so the parts have to be relatively unsophisticated, but just think of the potential as these printers advance in capabilities and the price comes down.

3Dprinter2 small The 3D Printer comes of age   making parts you cant get anywhere else

We’ll finally be free from the constraints of obsolescence and will be able to reuse our materials to keep things running long after they should have expired. Perfect solution to a mountain of consumption waste. Awesome technology, here’s hoping it goes all the way.

 My 1907 White engine would never have run again because its slide valve (or D-valve) was shot. We built that part, and now the car is back on the street. Let’s say you have an older Cadillac or a Packard, and you can’t get one of those beautifully ornate door handles. You could go to the big swap meet in Hershey, Pa., every day for the rest of your life and never find it. Or you could take the one on the left side of your car, copy it, use the computer to reverse it, and put that new part on the other side.

 The 3D Printer comes of age   making parts you cant get anywhere else

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.

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