Jay Leno Has Fun With 3D Printers

We all know about Jay Leno’s collection of old cars. More interesting for gadget geeks is that he relies on a 3D scanner and printer to keep his antiques in tip-top shape.

Jay Leno and his NextEngine 3D Scanner. Courtesy Popular Mechanics

Jay Leno and his NextEngine 3D Scanner. Courtesy Popular Mechanics

Need a replacement part for a decades-old or exotic car? All Jay Leno does is get the part he wants to replace, and use a 3D scanner to convert into information his 3D printer understands. He then waits a few hours while the printer reproduces a plastic facsimile. After printing’s done (which can take as long as 33 hours), Leno checks if the newly-fabricated plastic part fits as a replacement properly. Once everything checks out, the plastic is used to create a mold to create a real (usually metal) replacement.

The gadgets in use? The NextEngine 3D scanner and the Dimension 3D printer. Priced at $3,000 and $15,000 respectively, it’s clear that the Jay Leno way requires lots of money—which he probably has in spades anyway.


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