3D printing is going to revolutionize many things, including car manufacturing. But for now, the monopoly will continue to be of the brands …

3D printed parts are becoming a reality in the automotive industry, and this will greatly benefit users, for various reasons. Porsche has already announced that he is using 3D printed pistons in his spectacular Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which increases power by 30 hp.

Surely on some occasion you have taken the car to the workshop and have heard the classic phrase: “It will take a few days because the piece from Germany has to arrive.” With the 3D printing this expression (and the waits) will soon be history. When you need a part, the workshop can print it directly on your premises with a 3D printer, and have it in a few hours.

But at the moment this is only a desired future, because the brands are very jealous of the subject and they don’t let anyone but them print their car parts. So that you print them at home, it is still far …

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As Rebeca Álvarez tells us in Top Gear, Porsche has presented 3D printed pistons that deliver 30 more hp of power in your Porsche 911 GT2 RS equipped with a 700 bhp turbo engine. That’s only 5% improvement, but not bad for one piece.

The German firm has long used 3D printed parts, such as the Porsche 959’s clutch release lever. But the pistons are much more delicate and critical parts.

How has this power increase been achieved? 3D printing allows you to create stronger and lighter components, and gives designers more freedom. In the case of these pistons, according to Porsche “they are 10% lighter than the standard ones, also stronger, with an optimized design using artificial intelligence.”

For example, with traditional manufacturing methods it would not have been possible to incorporate a cooling duct in the piston crown. By being lighter, engine engineers can “increase engine speed, reduce the temperature load on the pistons and optimize combustion.” This is how they have obtained 30 more HP of power in the engine.

If they work better than the originals, the question is obvious: why don’t they use them on all models? According to Frank Ickinger of Porsche’s advanced transmission development department, it is not currently possible to incorporate them into serial models because of the high cost of printing, and quality control.

“It is not yet ready for series production, but I think in five years. Maybe a little earlier, we’ll see,” he concludes.