Sourcing replacement parts for classic cars is never easy, especially when it comes to small-volume models. Porsche is trying to come up with a workaround and is now offering a limited number of 3D-printed parts for some of its classic cars, including the 959 supercar from the ’80s. In total, Porsche will offer nine 3D-printed parts and is examining the possibility of 20 more. Porsche Classic offers roughly 52,000 parts for various models.
Only 292 Porsche 959s were ever built, meaning parts were in limited supply from the start. Porsche will use selective laser melting to create the release lever for the clutch. A light beam will melt steel powder, forming the part one layer at a time. The 3D-printed parts must meet the same requirements as the original components. That means resistance to oils, fuel, acid and light. Additionally, the parts must be pressure tested. The release lever can withstand several tons of pressure. Size and fitment are determined on test vehicles.
Porsche says it will use 3D printing for parts when supplies are either low or completely gone. Parts are reproduced using the original tooling. When those tools are available, new ones are sometimes created. For models like the 959, creating all-new tooling is cost prohibitive and inefficient, leading to the 3D-printing process.
Pricing on these new parts isn’t yet available, but you can pursue currently available products on the Porsche Classic website. Info and parts are available on models from the 356 to the Carrera GT. Just last month, Bugatti announced that the Chiron’s brake calipers would be 3D-printed. Expect more 3D-printed parts in the future.