You wouldn’t suspect a comedian and former talk show host would be an early adopter of 3D printing. But regular viewers of “Jay Leno’s Garage” know that for years, Leno has been using a 3D printer to help keep his collection of 286 rare vehicles up and running. While he can buy over-the-shelf parts for his McLaren P1 and Audi R8 Spyder, replacement items for his for his 1963 Chrysler Turbine concept car or one of his 1930s Duesenbergs are impossible to come by.
That’s why Leno has had engineer and former jet engine technician Bernard Juchli, his shop manager, scan old parts in need of replacement, 3D print them on-site in plastic, then send the plastic part to a foundry. The plastic is sacrificed to make a mold, and the replacement part is then cast.
Recently Leno has learned of a more efficient method. Here he brings in Bry Ewan, a rep from Stratasys’ Direct Manufacturing offshoot (think Kinko’s for all things digital fabrication) to explain how their Direct Metal Laser Sintering process is right up Leno and Juchli’s alley. Here Ewan discusses the pricing, materials available, and where an economy of scale actually does exist within the digital fabrication world: