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Printing a Car

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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Manufacturing is absolutely fascinating to me.

One of the more fascinating elements is the fact that, regardless of what you are producing, a manufacturing process is essentially a printer.

You feed in raw materials, the raw materials are processed using various and sundry methods, and the finished product pops out the other side.

Granted, manufacturing usually occurs on a much larger scale — especially when you're talking about an entire car — but really, it's the exact same principle.

Think of the plant — the facility itself — as the printer housing. Receiving of parts, materials, and supplies holds the same function as the paper tray. All of the robotic and people-oriented jobs work like the print head laying down ink on the paper, and shipping serves the same purpose as the output tray.

One of the major differences — and, in my opinion, coolest parts — is that a manufacturing facility is like a totally customizable printer. You research it, design it, engineer it, build it, train people, and — BAM! — it spits out cars.

Realistically, when we extensively rebuild a car, restore one, custom build one, or assemble a kit car, that's exactly what our hobby shops do as well, they're just a lot less automated.

Your junk car goes in one end, you do a bunch of shit — curse, hate the world, and wonder why you're doing this to yourself — and it pops out the other side, all sparkly and new...er...ish.

Think of it kinda like a 3D printer...that runs on self-loathing.


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