Written By Andrew Krok Via Cnet
Automakers have not yet fully embraced 3D printing, but Audi seems very interested in implementing this cutting-edge technology, especially as the process moves beyond plastic. Audi's toolmaking division is currently investigating 3D printing of metal objects, and it's built a race car as proof of concept.
Metal 3D printing isn't much different from plastic -- both use the additive process, which means placing layer after layer of material down until the desired shape is created. For metal, a laser melts together layers of metallic powder. The powder's individual grains are no larger than half the diameter of a human hair, which means the printer can create incredibly complex shapes in rather small sizes. It works for both aluminum and steel, which are the chief components of most vehicle chassis.