Applying metal 3D printing technology to reverse-engineer components in the automotive industry.

Established in 1995, RPG Industries is a comprehensive manufacturing firm collaborating with clients in the automotive, aerospace, and oil industries. The company specializes in providing a range of services, including EDM, CNC machining, waterjet cutting, and additive manufacturing.The

metal 3d printer

The team at RPG initially printed the replacement part in Onyx, and then printed it in 17-4 PH Stainless Steel.

The Challenge

In his pursuit of staying on the forefront of a competitive industry, Robert Ginsburg, the President of RPG Industries, actively seeks avenues for business expansion and the integration of new capabilities to better serve customers.

A compelling example involves a client, D&D Classic Automotive Restoration, engaged in restoring a 1930s classic car. During the restoration process, they encountered a challenge when discovering a broken original carburetor. Despite a global search for a replacement part, none could be found.

Determined to overcome this obstacle, D&D attempted to repair the existing part. Unfortunately, the original proved resistant to welding or brazing due to the necessity of maintaining an air- and watertight seal. Ginsburg explains, “Attempting to machine this part from scratch would be cost-prohibitive. The intricate detail and internal complexity of the component make it nearly impossible, and a machined part would never match the aesthetic quality of the original.”

When I saw the technology and the price point, I knew that the Metal 3D Printer would be a good fit for our company.
— Robert Ginsburg, President, RPG Industries, Inc.

The Solution

For quite some time, Robert had contemplated incorporating a metal 3D printer into his business. However, his familiarity was limited to powder-based printers, which were economically impractical and posed workplace hazards. The breakthrough came when he discovered the Markforged Metal X 3D printer, meeting his budget and providing a safer alternative to other powder-based metal printers. Eagerly, Robert acquired both the Metal X system and a Mark Two 3D printer, promptly putting them into operation.

To showcase the versatility of his new equipment, Robert initially utilized the Markforged Mark Two 3D printer to produce a reverse-engineered carburetor cap using Markforged Onyx material, a chopped carbon fiber-filled thermoplastic. Subsequently, he replicated the same part in 17-4 PH Stainless Steel on his Metal X printer and presented the final product to the D&D team, who were thoroughly impressed.

The transformative impact of quickly scanning a broken part, making necessary repairs, and 3D printing it became evident to Robert. He expressed, “This capability has changed things for us. The ease of changing materials in Eiger is just one of the reasons we admire Markforged.” With the car fully restored and equipped with a seamlessly functioning metal 3D printed part, it has been returned to its owner, marking a successful application of advanced technology.

metal 3d printer

(R) 3D printed 17-4 PH Stainless Steel carburetor; (L) original carburetor.

Having the capability to quickly scan a broken part, make the repairs, and print it out on the Metal X has changed things for us.
— Robert Ginsburg, President, RPG Industries, Inc.

The Future

The addition of the Metal 3D Printer system has brought immense satisfaction to Robert, who proudly showcases it as the focal point of his workshop.
“Metal 3D Printer is the first thing you see when you walk into the shop,” he remarks.
The remarkable technology has captivated onlookers, providing Robert’s business with a notable competitive edge in comparison to other EDM competitors. Enthusiastic about the possibilities, Robert envisions leveraging the Metal 3D printer for printing some of the smaller molds and tools traditionally fabricated in the shop.
“I believe many in our workforce were initially indifferent to 3D printing. They didn’t quite grasp why I invested in this technology. However, witnessing the impressive results, I think nearly everyone now recognizes its value and compatibility,” he concludes.

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