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TV Show Counting Cars Brings Automotive 3D Printing to the Big Screen

With all sorts of major manufacturers and auto-repair shops taking up additive manufacturing, even TV programs are getting into 3D printing. The History Channel’s hit show “Counting Cars” often uses the technology to restore and renovate various classic vehicles, showing off the neat, new designs only 3D printing can offer. They’ve put it to use on a number of car parts, a trike and even a reconstruction of the “Batmobile”.

For the uninitiated, the show features Danny “The Count” Koker and the various jobs undertaken by his auto-shop, Count’s Kustoms. Danny and his crew of employees buy, restore, customize, and sell various classic cars and motorcycles. A major part of Counting Cars is the crew running around Vegas looking for classic vehicles to renovate. Oftentimes, the parts for these cars are hard to come by, and that’s where 3D printing comes in.

The crew are quite fond of 3D printing, particularly “Horny Mike” (a moniker earned due to his love of putting horns on vehicles). They’ve often come up with unique items for customizing their bikes and cars which would suit 3D printing. However, one of their main concerns was procuring a printer large enough for their cars. They seem to have found perfect match with their two Tractus3D 3D printers, which they acquired back in June.

Their workshop includes a Tractus T3500 for larger prints, bringing in a build volume of 1000mm width diameter (39.4″) and 2100mm height (82.6″). For smaller prints they also have a Tractus T1250. Both of these machines serve different functions in the company’s workflow.

Classic Cars & Batmobiles

Various manufacturers have noticed the utility of 3D printing in terms of renovating cars or producing on-demand parts. As Mike notes, this cuts down his production time while allowing for entirely new parts that would be otherwise impossible to procure.

Their printers were especially handy in 3D printing their own version of the “Batmobile”. The crew had a tough task on their hands. To print the components, they needed to place scanning dots on the whole frame of the car, covering every angle of every nook and cranny. After this, they were ready to bring in the parts, and are still working on the project, implementing printed components to the design.

Counting Cars isn’t the first show to make utilize the engineering possibilities of 3D printing and using it to bring superhero paraphernalia to life. Earlier this year, Adam Savage from the Mythbusters also put 3D printing to the test on his ‘Tested’ web-series, building a real-life Iron Man armor (or at least the closest approximation allowed by modern science). Aside from being a flashy technology, 3D printing also provides easier, cheaper parts production for these one-off print jobs, particularly large and complex ones.

Featured images courtesy of Count’s Customs & Tractus3D.

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