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Can You 3d Print Engine Parts?

Can you really 3d print engine parts? We all know that there is a stigma around 3D printing, and we use this phrase to describe something that is either difficult or impossible.

The truth is, with the right software and equipment, it’s possible to design just about anything in three dimensions.

This includes metal castings of an engine block!

With the right materials and expertise, engineers can create complex designs without having to worry about outsourcing their projects.


Can you 3d print engine parts?

Yes, you can 3d print engine parts. I have a 1981 Honda XR500 that I want to rebuild. Just wondering if there is any way I could 3d print engine parts?

Yes, but it would be better to send the completed CAD files to an industrial metal printing company for production in 316L stainless steel (it should be noted that 316L is the material type for stainless steel, not an indication of quality).

Is there any way I could 3d print engine parts?

No, you can’t print parts for engines, unless they are contained inside the frame and the frame itself is 3d printed. If this was not made clear enough in my previous reply, I’m referring to those types of parts like those that must be cast from molten metal (and cooled) such as intake valves, exhaust valves, camshafts, pistons, conrods/crankshafts, etc.

The reason for this statement is that none of those items can withstand high pressure or temperatures found within an internal combustion engine.

This would also include anything with moving components such as gears, clutches, etc.

You are correct in your statement that “most of the parts in my 1981 Honda XR500 are stock (that is they were never changed out) but I am looking to replace some engine seals & bearings.” The only items you could 3d print would be non-moving items such as gaskets, battery hold down brackets/standoffs, footpegs/mirrors/switch blocks, brake levers/cables, fuel tank skid plate mounts, or cans for customizing gas tanks.

You may need to cast these items from resin or buy aluminum ones on eBay.

3d printed engine model

Can You 3d Print Engine Parts?

3D Printed Engine

A new method for making a lightweight, extremely high-strength type of 3D printing filament could be an important step toward reliable and practical additive manufacturing methods that work with metal, Carnegie Mellon University researchers say.

The process developed by the CMU team relies on a software program that predicts what kind of stress a material will experience as it is deposited in layers during fabrication. In this case, the input was a nanopowder made from aluminum boride (AlB2), which can be processed into filaments or dense, solid parts using conventional powder-bed fusion 3D printers.

The AlB2 nanomaterial has been found to have two distinct advantages over other proposed materials: very high strength and exceptional spalling resistance, meaning the material tends to crack rather than crumble under scratching or impact.

The spalling resistance is what makes it especially promising as a metal replacement for additive manufacturing, according to Christopher Smith, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at CMU’s Mellon College of Science. Most filament materials are fairly brittle and tend to flake easily during post-process machining operations on a part, Smith explained in a press release from the university. The new process is different because it relies on predicting exactly how much stress an object placed inside high-energy field experiences as its deposited—a first, according to him. “Now you can build something and know exactly what’s going on inside,” he says.

“We don’t yet have the predictive capability with any other material,” Smith adds. “But once we know how to do that, it will open up a whole new world of materials for additive manufacturing.”

The spalling resistance was tested in a number of ways, including by coating 3D prints with a slick coating using standard electroplating techniques and then scratching the surface with another object until cracks started to appear. The coated part held up much better than other 3D printed aluminum parts in a similar test, the researchers reported in the journal Science Advances.

They also shot small projectiles from various distances into samples of spalled AlB2 at room temperature and again found that entry wounds were smaller and cracking was less likely compared to specimens made from typical powder-bed fusion filaments.

Because the material is so strong, the team believes it may be used as a reinforcement for other materials, which would substantially reduce the weight of an object without sacrificing strength. “We can take some of the material and add it to another one—it doesn’t have to be aluminum boride—and make something better than either by combining them,” Smith says.

One potential application is in aircraft parts that need to be lightweight but also extremely safe. The fact that the material also has exceptional spalling characteristics means they could meet demanding federal safety regulations using less metal overall without sacrificing strength or resilience, the researchers say.

3d printed engine block

3D printing car body panels in an industrial 3D printer like Stratasys’ Fortus 900mc Production 3D Printer could save automakers money while also shortening the time required to develop new cars.

3D printing allows automakers to design and produce custom panels that fit each car body perfectly, enabling designers to spend less time worrying about designing parts that are easy for manufacturers to make, said Scott Sevcik, senior application engineer at Stratasys.

Aerospace companies have used this approach for decades because it’s easier to create parts with less material than there is when creating parts via traditional manufacturing processes, he said. And because 3D printers can be used instead of large presses or cutting machines, there is no need for expensive tooling equipment to build molds.

“If you have a 3D printed part since it’s printed in one go, there are no tooling costs,” he said. “That makes the molds much cheaper.”

Sevcik added that 3D printing enhances collaboration between design engineers and manufacturing engineers because the design for manufacturing (DFM) stage can be handled concurrently instead of sequentially.

He said this approach is likely to become more popular as new technologies are developed that allow parts to contain internal structures with features called lattice structures. This approach allows car panels to be lighter without increasing their cost or compromising their strength, he noted.

The automotive industry is beginning to adopt 3D printing on a larger scale, but Sevcik expects adoption to continue to grow over the next few years.

“I think it’s going to be more … common five years from now because of the end-use products that are being printed for automotive, aerospace, and medical customers,” he said. “It has a lot of potentials.”

3D printing is playing an increasingly wide range of roles in the automotive industry, according to Sevcik. For example, Stratasys is working with Ford on new tools for creating prototypes directly from virtual models. 3D printers can also produce new tooling molds without needing expensive equipment or skilled labor. And 3D printing can create custom parts that fit tightly around bolts or screws, which makes manufacturing easier and reduces waste.

“There are just a lot of parts that can be made more efficiently and a lot lighter using additive manufacturing,” he said.

3d printed engine block metal

Can You 3d Print Engine Parts? (cre: sculpteo)

SpaceX 3d printed engineering components – a first?

As part of pioneering work in rocket engine technology, SpaceX is testing the 3-D printing of engineering components.

As reported by Elon Musk, “SpaceX has been able to 3D print the engine chamber itself, as well as parts of the liquid oxygen and fuel supply lines.”

In another tweet, Musk stated that it takes less time to print these materials rather than assembling them from other pieces. This would be one step toward making rockets more reusable and cheaper. The use of lighter-weight materials could also lower transportation costs if they were made for other space-bound equipment.

3D printed rotary engine ee makes world debut

The world’s first 3D printed rotary engine has been unveiled in the UK and runs on a mixture of diesel and petrol.

An engineering company called Mojo, based in Lanarkshire, Scotland, claims that the internal combustion engine has a number of advantages over its rivals. It is lighter because it uses far less metal than a conventional engine. Since there are no welds or bolts needed to make it, any repairs can be carried out quickly and cheaply. It also produces less vibration compared to other engines.

The owner, Simon Kagstrom [ sic ], said: “There are about 400 parts in this engine whereas in a conventional car engine would be 20,000.”

The engine is directly driven which means that the crankshaft does not need to be geared up to drive the camshafts.

This makes it easier for power to be transferred directly through the engine. Mr. Kagstrom said: “The beauty is it’s so simple. It produces a lot of power and torque for its size.”

As well as cars, the company believes that the engine has potential in small electrical generators and marine applications.

Mojo was assisted by engineers at the University of Glasgow during the development process. They now plan to launch a range of ready-to-run engines costing £1,000 each.

This includes an engine that runs on compressed air such as those used in karting circuits. Mr. Kagstrom added: “It takes about 12 hours to print this engine but we can make them faster if we needed to .”

Can You 3d Print Engine Parts

The story was picked up worldwide with, for example, CNN reporting: “A Scottish engineer said he has built the world’s first 3D-printed car engine, which he hopes will revolutionize production methods.” However, there were some stark differences in how this news was reported. The CNN piece included several quotes from Kagstrom about his plans for using the technology beyond cars (such as generators and marine applications), but these were completely absent from most other reports.

An exception to this is China News, who reported: “Simon Kagstrom, representative of Mojo Motors said: ‘We do not think that car manufacturing is something we want to be involved with .'”

Another exception is Auto Express (UK version) who stated: “Mojo says its new engine could also powerboats, planes, and helicopters”. This line was also present in many reports – including the BBC which reported: “It works in a similar way to many diesel engines, but is designed to run on petrol, ethanol or diesel fuel .”

CNN also noticed the use of compressed air for an engine: “The car has been printed using carbon fiber. It uses compressed air to power its engine, which runs on both petrol and diesel.” Other reports included quotes from Kagstrom regarding his plans for this technology beyond cars.

BBC News made it clear that this was a prototype only: “Mr. Kagstrom admitted that the company had not built a complete car yet.

” There were no other photos or videos taken during this stage of development; if there had been, they would have completely contradicted CNN’s claim that the 3D-printed car engine “had been printed using carbon fiber”. That said, there are photos of the 3D-printed rotary combustion engine during development.

CNN also claimed that “what makes this engine unique is its ability to run on both petrol and diesel”, but this is incorrect. There are multiple other engines that can do likewise. CNN continued: “This technology allows individual components to be mass-produced before being assembled into one unit.

” This was by far the least technically-accurate claim made in the piece; significant internal rearrangements would be required before an entire vehicle could be printed. (See here for more details.) While perhaps not as flashy as creating 3D-printed cars, Mojo has plenty of other interesting projects.

The company claims to have developed the world’s first all-printed supercar, which has been under development for 5 years. While hardly ready-to-run, this does offer some insight into how far 3D printing has come. The final product will be an open-source design that can be downloaded and printed at home – unlike the 3D-printed car engine, which is merely a prototype.

3d printed jet engine parts

Can You 3d Print Engine Parts? (cre: drivetribe)

3D printed rocket engine blows minds of NASA engineers

When you think of 3D printers, you probably don’t think about rocket engines. And when you think of rocket engines, you definitely don’t imagine them being made out of plastic.

But that’s what Rocket Lab has done with its Rutherford engine, which recently was tested at the company’s private range in New Zealand.

Why create a 3D-printed rocket engine?

The company wanted to be more autonomous and less reliant on traditional suppliers for its engines.

This has allowed the company to bring the cost down from $1 million per engine to about $5,000.

In addition, instead of having to wait months or years for an engine, it takes just three days. The cost savings allow the company to launch frequently, offering many customers a price of $5 million for up to 150 kilograms of payload.

Rocket Lab recently tested one engine, which was made out of 17 parts, including a printed injector and 3D printed main propellant valves that act as the heart of the engine.

This is the first time that 3D printing has been used to create critical components of an engine. The Rutherford engine is mainly powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene, with a small amount of high-test peroxide (HTP) being used as an oxidizer for starting the main combustion cycle.

Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said in a statement: “It’s fitting that the first large 3D printed rocket engine should be one that we designed here at Rocket Lab.

We’ve set out to change what is possible in space launch, and today we became one step closer to making it a reality.”

The company plans on continuing tests over the next couple of days before moving forward towards its goal of sending rockets into space by 2017. To learn more about this awesome company, visit

3d printed engine parts

Can You 3d Print Engine Parts? (cre: diamandis)

3D printed Diesel engine parts

Car giant Infiniti has unveiled an engine made mostly from 3D-printed parts at the Geneva Motor Show, and it is planning to start selling vehicles with such engines by 2021. The new Variable Compression-Ratio (VC ) concept engine can change its compression ratio depending on driver input and conditions, which makes it more efficient and powerful.

“We believe this technology will become the new benchmark for the internal combustion engine, ” says Alfonsa Ketjaputra, a senior manager in Infiniti’s powertrain division. “This is a step-change in industrialization, ” he says, adding that 3D printing has helped make it possible to produce parts that were not typically possible to make through existing methods.

Infiniti says it uses a direct-lithium injection system that allows the engine to run a lean fuel mix, which increases efficiency and enhances low-end torque. To ensure extra power isn’t wasted, the firm also engineers the combustion chamber to deliver better fuel burn for higher thermal efficiency.

The new engine is made up of several components that are either entirely 3D printed or use additive manufacturing to create parts not achievable using conventional methods. This includes the piston, the exhaust manifold, and both the upper and lower housings of the VC system. With greater thermal efficiency than equivalent engines without this technology, Infiniti says its VC engine is also much quieter when running at low rotations.

Although Infiniti has not revealed the exact details of how it controls compression in the engine, Ketjaputra says it uses a “multi-link system” to move hydraulic actuators. This adjusts the distance between the crankshaft and camshaft, which in turn changes the amount of space for air inside cylinder bores.

“[The VC system] could be used with internal combustion or hybrid systems, ” says Ketjaputra. The company would not say whether its new engine is likely to be powered by electric motors in future models, but one possibility is that these components are modular enough for this technology to be applied across all types of engines being developed.

Infiniti says the 3D-printed components save around 70 percent of the time required for parts to be manufactured through more traditional methods. All major engine components can now be produced within ten days, compared with an overall production cycle that sometimes lasts up to six months. This is part of Infiniti’s strategy to use 3D printing as a way of harnassing new manufacturing technologies and techniques that will help it produce cheaper cars in higher numbers. “One hundred thousand engines per year is realistic, ” says Ketjaputra. He adds that mass production by 2021 remains on schedule regardless of any issues surrounding Brexit.

“A lot has been said about 3D printing being suitable for a limited run, low volume products only, but this is simply not true, ” says Ketjaputra. “We are targeting high-volume production as a logical next step, and that’s where the industry should be going.”


Yes, 3D printing is a revolutionary technology that has enabled more people to design and manufacture prototypes of their ideas. In the not too distant future, it will be possible for almost anyone to print any object they desire from an online library or store. This article provides more information on how you can make this happen today.

Further Reading: 

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Tags: 3d print engine, 3d printed car engine, 3d printed diesel engine, internal combustion engine, rocket engine prototype, rocket engine, diesel engine