Again and again we receive inquiries from our customers dealing with the 3D printing of spare parts for cars. Of course, this is mainly about cases in which the respective spare part is no longer commercially available.
We have therefore compiled the most important information on this topic at this point.
Plastic parts in particular are often a problem
When it comes to brake pads, pistons or shock absorbers, the supply of spare parts is usually also in the area of Antique car does not pose a serious challenge. Manufacturers usually have these things in stock themselves as a figurehead or lucrative source of income. Or you can use a third-party provider for this.
On the other hand, the case is quite different when it comes to plastic parts, especially from the interior acts. With a bit of luck, vintage car enthusiasts may find these parts at the junkyard or on the Internet. If at all, one finds these parts used. But often not even that.
This is exactly where 3D printing offers the ideal solution, as this technology ultimately allows small series and individual parts to be manufactured under economically viable conditions.
And so it should come as no surprise that over the past 5 to 10 years more and more companies have emerged whose business model is based on the additive manufacturing of hard-to-find auto spare parts.
From scanning the model to the finished 3D printed spare part
The process is quickly explained: the customer shows his defective spare part to the respective provider. Once there, it was usually scanned and using the data obtained in this way CAD calculator create a printable 3D model. Before the printing process can be started, all the unevenness of the model must first be cleaned up or smoothed out.
Copyright creates problems
However, current copyright law can sometimes impose narrow limits on this technically simple process. The same applies to this in this case competition law.
In other words, car manufacturers and their spare parts suppliers make sure that their developments are not duplicated by third parties. This also applies to the case of repairing products that are actually ready for scrap.
The scientific service of the German Bundestag even dealt with exactly this problem between 2014 and 2018. In its final report from April 2018, it came to the conclusion that the reproduction of spare parts is generally permitted as long as the buyer has not been deceived. In detail, however, the case is far more complicated.
If you have any further questions about car spare parts from the 3D printer, our customer service will be happy to help you.