View Full Version : 3D printed pistons

04-12-2018, 03:08 PM
Check out the article in the link below. I know it is focused on the new engine market and quick development and deployment during the prototype stage of a new engine but it seems that this could eventually filter down into the vintage automotive market. Maybe manufacturers would be more willing to offer obsolete items if all they had to maintain was a file on a server and at the click of a button they could spit out a set of pistons (or whatever else) for an obsolete engine.


Chris Pile
04-12-2018, 03:44 PM
Now THAT is interesting stuff. I wonder if they hold required tolerances, or whether they'll need final machining before use.

345 DeSoto
04-12-2018, 04:37 PM
THAT is amazing!...

04-12-2018, 04:40 PM
When I first saw this I thought all 3-d printer used plastic. Wasn't sure how that could work. I know Jay Leno was making molds for some parts on one of his shows for parts on a rare brass car. Didn't know they used other materials .

04-12-2018, 05:47 PM
Farmers are one of the newest and largest segments to use 3D printing. The use of metal for printing has been on some ag shows.

Colgate Studebaker
04-13-2018, 07:14 AM
More discussion on metal 3D printing on the racing forum. Lots of potential for almost anything as the process moves forward. Bill

04-13-2018, 09:51 AM
THAT is amazing!...

Not merely amazing, but in my opinion, one of the most overlooked, underreported, and misunderstood developments of our lifetime! I wonder if they were alive now, how such genius minded personalities such as Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, James Watt, Robert Fulton, Felix Wankel, Rudolf Diesel...(I could go on)...What could these minds do with computer technology integrated into engineering and manufacturing?

Back when I was selling, consulting, and applying industrial supplies/tooling, I was called to a laboratory where early 3D printer technology was being developed. In my career, I have been subjected to some intense security checks when calling on prison-based industries, research facilities, nuclear facilities, and a weapons manufacturing facility. However, the 3D lab was probably the most intense security check I ever experienced. To this very day, with the exception of a very few close friends, when I mention 3D printing, you can see eyes glaze over.:rolleyes: Printing an object with molten composite (plastic) materials is one thing, but doing it with molten metal is something I'm struggling to wrap my mind around.:confused:

As we know, heat and electronics have always not gotten along very well...managing both within a contraption requiring such precise performance...truly AMAZING!:ohmy:

I buy my computer supplies from a small shop. This one-man business has new, used, & refurbed 3D printers on the shelf. Some, almost for "pocket change." That in itself is amazing.:)

04-13-2018, 10:59 PM
Cool, cool, cool

04-14-2018, 10:51 AM
I wonder if this technology could be used to build heads and intake for the Stude engine with better breathing?

04-14-2018, 01:05 PM
I wonder if this technology could be used to build heads and intake for the Stude engine with better breathing?

Yes. Good question. wouldn't it be nice if we could get 3D printed copies of the heads and other special parts used on the J.C. Agajanian DOHC Studebaker Indy V8? This new technology may go a long way towards making nifty custom speed parts affordable.

04-14-2018, 01:21 PM
I wonder if this technology could be used to build heads and intake for the Stude engine with better breathing?

I had posted this ealier this week on the racing forum;

For something requiring less sophistication than a piston, the air blast may be a good option. I'm thinking heads, intake and coolant manifolds etc. For parts requiring higher precision, laser will probably be the better one. It's all still in the development phase but look forward to what it promises and I'm betting it's coming sooner rather than later. The quality of the plastic printing is getting to be mind blowing and if the right material is currently available, intake manifolds may already be a reality. Who knows? Are aluminum heads with individual ports like a Ford now feasible?

Colgate Studebaker
04-14-2018, 09:34 PM
Ken and all, Mike Van Veghten made a good comment about making heads at this point in the development, heat being the major issue to overcome. Making water manifolds and intakes however could be a reality sooner. Bill