How cool would it be if you could print your own aftermarket parts at home?
We’re a bit too far behind the technological curve to expect 3D printed cars to become anything more than small venture projects dreamt up by a handful of entrepreneurs, but in the mean time, it’s more than feasible to print up pet projects that are mesmerizing to watch. Building an LS3, the same 6.2-liter V8 that lives under the hood of the Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac Escalade, is one such project and YouTuber Cletus McFarland was more than happy to make it happen.
It’s a bit far-fetched to expect the entire pushrod V8 to materialize from a $199 printer purchased from Amazon, so for now McFarland sticks to building the block without the pistons, heads, and auxiliary accessories. The entire process takes 18 hours to accomplish, but thanks to the magic of time-lapse video editing, we get to see the process compressed into three minutes.
Unlike other miniature engines we see built by curious and time-wealthy craftsmen, this one has no hope of running even if it gets all of its parts because the filament, which costs $24 per roll, is not a material that can stand up to the heat, pressure, and explosive violence experienced inside an engine. That may one day change as automakers invest and investigate alternative methods of engine construction. If 3D printing one day becomes a viable way to make cars, automakers could save billions on parts and labor (sorry president Trump) unless of course we’re talking about Lamborghini, which is looking into how to build carbon fiber power plants for ultimate owner bragging rights.