3D Printing as an Easy Way to Maintain My Classic Cars Collection
By Johnathan Frame, PA.
I have always been in love with American classic cars. I guess this came from the movies I watched as a kid in the 1990s. I was fortunate to get rich relatively young and instead of
buying a new Porsche I bought a 1972 orange Pontiac GTO. It was (and still is) amazing. Since then, I have built a collection of 35 iconic models from the 1960s and 1970s. In the
early stage of my hobby, I faced one BIG challenge. Keeping these cars in top condition is a challenge, as many of the parts were no longer in production and it is hard to get them.
One day, in 2013, I stumbled upon an article about 3D printing and its potential for creating replacement parts. I was skeptical at first, but the more I read, the more I became convinced
that this technology could revolutionize the way I maintain my collection of vintage cars.
I made the decision to buy a 3D printer and a 3D scanner and start experimenting with them. It was a steep learning curve, but I was determined to master the technology and use
it to create the parts I needed for my old ladies. I poured countless hours into research,reading articles, watching tutorials, and reaching out to experts in the field for help.
The first part I wanted to reverse engineer was the interior door handle Jaguar XK140 (my only European car). I removed the one on the left door, 3D scanned it and mirrored it. After
that, I 3D printed it on my MakerBot. It fitted perfectly. As I didn’t have a metal printer, I sent it to my buddies from Threeding and they 3D printed it on metal. The printed parts fit
perfectly into my Jag and functioned just as well as the original parts. Not only that, but it was also much easier and cost-effective to produce.
Ever since I have been using the technology to get simple difficult-to-find pars. Soon some friends noticed my 3D printing skills, and I started getting requests from other car
enthusiasts to print parts for their collections. It was then that I realized the true potential of this technology and how it could be used to preserve and maintain the beauty of these
classic cars for future generations to enjoy.My next big missing is to reverse engineer a classic car and recreate it fully with the help of 3D printing. I hope I start this challenge this year and I will share my story here.