The automaker Nissan stopped making the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R in 1994, but the performance sports car is still beloved by enthusiasts in Japan and beyond. Earlier this year, Nissan announced that it would start using HP Jet Fusion 3D printers to create a much-needed spare part for the R32 Skyline GT-R — a plastic harness protector. Customers were thrilled.
On social media, people praised the company for using 3D printing in this way, saying they would now be able to maintain a car they love for longer, according to Kaori Saitou, from Nissan Motor Co.’s Total Supply Chain Competitiveness department.
Large, complex products like cars require numerous, precisely designed parts for repairs — parts that manufacturers often stop producing because of low demand and the high cost of manufacturing and storage. Beyond making customers happy, 3D printing has emerged as a way to keep older products out of the landfill by keeping them in use longer — a core concept of the circular economy — with small, customized production runs that can manufacture specific parts to meet demand.