Next Time You Want a Porsche Part, It Might Be 3D-Printed With OEM Specifications

Ever since I've heard about the first tool printed into space, a spanner, I wondered why there aren't any printers able to produce the small part that I needed for my car, which was available for delivery in at least one week.
Porsche printed bumper 12 photos
Photo: Porsche
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But if I needed that part for a Honda, imagine how frustrating it could be for a Porsche owner who wants a new spoiler, a new bracket, or whatever other mechanical part. They should expect better service with the money they pay for servicing their cars. And as far as I can think, the 3D printing process should be the fastest way.

Porsche Ventures announced that it invested in the Chinese-based INTAMSYS company, a world-leading 3D printer manufacturer. It is specialized in high-performance materials, which means that the printed products are good enough even for a Porsche. By now, the Chinese manufacturer products were used in various fields such as aerospace, automotive, medical, and scientific research, but the list didn't end there.

Since innovation and development were always part of the Porsche brand, the German sportscar maker saw the 3D-printing as a faster way to evolve. "Digital transformation has seeped into every aspect of production and daily life, and is listed as one of the core issues in Porsche's operation strategy," says Jens Puttfarcken, President and CEO of Porsche China. He also added that "Porsche plans to boost the actual application of additive manufacturing technology, and leverage the significant innovation potential of 3D printing in terms of both product and process to offer customers more flexible production and customization services."

With that said, it is only a matter of time until the carmaker's shops worldwide will be able to print the required parts. Of course, maybe it will also print pistons and connecting rods. But the moment we'll see a Star Trek-like replicator into a car repair shop where the technicians will print a bumper or a spoiler is not far.

Porsche Ventures is part of the Porsche Group, and it invests in entrepreneurs and start-ups all over the world. It has also invested in the Chinese carmaker NIO and, each year, allocates 150 million euros ($169,610 at the current exchange rate) in start-ups and venture capital firms.
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Editor's note: Gallery also shows various 3D-printed parts

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About the author: Tudor Serban
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Tudor started his automotive career in 1996, writing for a magazine while working on his journalism degree. From Pikes Peaks to the Moroccan desert to the Laguna Seca, he's seen and done it all.
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