Report: 3D Parts Can Lower Car Value

May 22, 2019
A recent report notes that a scan of a single part can become a digital blueprint that anyone with a special machining tool or 3-D printer can use to churn out a replacement.

May 22, 2019—A scan of a single part can become a digital blueprint that anyone with a special machining tool or 3-D printer can use to churn out a replacement, as noted in a recent report.

The value of a car, of course, is based largely on scarcity. The ability to inexpensively make formerly hard-to-find parts diminishes the scarcity and can drop the value of a collectible car — sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars and, in extreme cases, millions, according to the New York Times.

While technology like 3-D printing makes car collecting less expensive and more accessible, it has also made it easier for counterfeiters to pass off “replicars” as more valuable originals, helped drive the price of unrestored “survivor cars” to astronomical heights and cleared the way for car manufacturers to remake parts that are questionably deemed “factory original.”

Printed parts can be made relatively cheaply and — except under very careful examination — are often indistinguishable from original parts.

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