You know we’re in the future when we can print our own car parts.
I have an older Mercedes, and for the newer model of my car Mercedes had made a minor change to the air delivery system which increased power and improved gas mileage. To get the part I could have simply walked into the dealership and paid upwards of $80 for it, but with 3D printing technology I figured why not print my own?
By looking at pictures of the very basic plastic part I was able to come up with rough measurements. I then built the part using 3D CAD software, then exported the file to our 3D printer. After about an hour and a half it was finished, and out came a nice and sturdy replica. Now because this part was to be installed in the colder area of the engine bay I was not too concerned about it melting.
It’s now been over a month since the part was installed and it remains in perfect condition. I’ve been enjoying a nice improvement in gas mileage and power at the cost of a few cents in material thanks to 3D printing.
The printer I used was the Makerbot Replicator 2, and I later sprayed the part with a satin black paint to give it a factory finish.
The possibilities with these printers are endless and if they can save you money then they’re definitely worth investing in.
Robert Colgan, Senior Industrial Designer @ MAKO
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!