Most people know Jay Leno as NBC’s late night emcee, but in the machine world Leno has another claim-to-fame: he collects cars — boasting an extensive conglomeration of almost 200 vehicles. In order to maintain his vast collection of cars — some of which are over 100 years old — Leno has invested in a Dimension uPrint 3D Printer.
Created by Minnesota-based 3D printing equipment and materials company, Stratasys, Leno uses the tool to create 3D duplicates of rare car parts he may need to fix or replace. The printer is able to create exact plastic, 3D copies of rare automobile parts that Leno can send to a machinist as a reference point.
“People say, ‘Why not just give the part to your machinist to make?’ Well, if the machinist makes it wrong, you still have to pay for it,” Leno writes in Popular Mechanics. “The scanner allows you to make an exact copy in plastic, fit it and see that it’s correct. Even when you take plans to a machinist, it can be tricky. Say the part must be 3 mm thick here and 5 mm there. You get it back and then, ‘Oh no, it doesn’t fit; it’s too thick,’ or ‘It’s too thin.’ My setup lets you create the perfect part.”
Fear not, the 3D printer won’t cause bankruptcy — many models are now available from $2,000-up. According to Leno, the 3D Printer he uses is under $15,000. “Which isn’t cheap,” Leno admits, “but this technology used to cost 10 times that amount. And I think the price will come down even more.”
h/t: Popular Mechanics