The Role Of 3D Printing In Custom Car Part Fabrication

April 16, 2024 by
The Role Of 3D Printing In Custom Car Part Fabrication
Eric Hazen

Creating three-dimensional parts in a specialized printer seemed like something from a science fiction movie not too long ago. But the future is now, and 3D printing has become an essential manufacturing process for many industry segments, including aftermarket auto parts. Learn more about how it works, the benefits, and what to remember when choosing your performance upgrades.

How 3D-printed Parts For Cars Are Made

3D-printed front splitter end plate for Toyota Supra MK5

This Toyota Supra front splitter end plate is 3D printed with durable and strong carbon nylon.

The idea of 3D printing started in the 1980s but didn’t become commercially viable until the 2000s. Many in the automotive industry have used the technology for over ten years. Parts like brake cooling ducts, housings, and interior trim pieces are commonly produced. But how exactly are parts made? Here are the basics:

  • A 3D model is typically generated through a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program.
  • The model is translated into a language readable by a 3D printer. It’s essentially sliced into layers, and the printer will build one layer at a time.
  • Various types of filament, commonly plastics or synthetics, are fed into a heated chamber.
  • The material goes through a nozzle onto a flat surface known as the bed. The part is produced from the bottom up.

Many types of 3D printers exist, from desktop models to much larger units. There are even affordable consumer-grade options and online repositories of 3D designs of standard parts.

What Are The Benefits Of 3D-printed Car Parts?

Exhaust opening of a Toyota GR86 is covered with a 3D-printed part made of carbon nylon material

3D printing can get parts like this Toyota GR86 exhaust cover through production quicker than the traditional process.

Although the process of 3D printing car parts is continuing to evolve, the process does have some clear benefits, including the following:

  • Production speed: Auto parts manufacturers benefit significantly by being able to build a prototype rapidly. The final component can get to market more quickly than by traditional means.
  • Cost-efficient manufacturing: Minimizing waste helps reduce production costs, and parts can be printed on demand.
  • Customization: The sky’s the limit when customizing 3D-printed car parts. You can quickly fabricate to specific preferences, a tremendous benefit in industries like motorsports.
  • Improved form and function: Parts can be made to enhance performance depending on the skill of the designer. For example, you might find ways to reduce weight or improve airflow.

What Types of 3D-printed Car Parts Are Made for Performance Applications?

3D-printed carbon nylon vortex generator

Parts like this carbon nylon vortex generator are perfect for 3D printing, but you still need to make sure it's expertly designed and tested.

There are limitless possibilities for 3D-printed car parts, including aftermarket upgrades. In fact, the team at Verus Engineering designed a 3D-printed vortex generator from carbon nylon, a stronger and more durable material than the plastics commonly used in 3D printing. This component promotes airflow attachment along the rear window glass, improving downforce generation and drag reduction at speed. But that’s not the only 3D-printed part from Verus. They’ve also created: 

The possibilities are endless, but you must ensure they are designed correctly and made from quality materials.

Be Careful When Getting 3D Printed Aftermarket Parts

Regardless of the manufacturing method, you should only get aftermarket performance parts from a trusted, reputable supplier. You want the best for your vehicle, which means getting components expertly designed by professionals who fully understand concepts like computational fluid dynamics, reverse engineering, and thermodynamics. You never want to sacrifice quality for a lesser part that can be made cheaply and quickly. 

Find The Best Performance Parts From Verus Engineering

Always at the forefront of technology, the team at Verus Engineering is pleased to incorporate advanced methods like 3D printing to bring you the best aftermarket parts. Regardless of the manufacturing process used, you can rest assured that all parts are expertly designed and tested before being made available. Ready to upgrade the performance of your vehicle? Find your parts today in our online store.

The Role Of 3D Printing In Custom Car Part Fabrication
Eric Hazen April 16, 2024
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