The concept of 3D printing is a relatively new one, but we’re already getting a taste of the quickly advancing field and what people are dreaming up and printing. First it was printing all sorts of things in plastics, then things went to a much bigger scale with concrete homes. Now, it seems that they have figured out how to 3D print in aluminum and it could just revolutionize the aftermarket parts industry.
Just like with custom CNC-milled or fabricated intakes, the processes are still at the high end of the market as they require a high level of skill, pricey equipment, and time to manufacture. Now that we can print in aluminum, though, it opens up design options that you can’t fabricate from welding sheet metal together, and you won’t have to mill a solid chunk of aluminum to arrive at a final design.
As you’ll see in the video below, some welding and milling is still required, at least in this particular build. If you have seen 3D printed stuff, be it in plastic or concrete, then you’ve probably seen how you can still see the layers in the final product. The company in this video, Mimo Technik, prints aluminum and Inconel, and the end products look like they are cast production pieces.
This video is part of a series where Papadakis Racing is building a 1,000hp GR Supra, and pressed for time, they had Mimo Technik print an intake manifold for their project. Exciting times for sure in the 3D printing market and the performance aftermarket as well.