I’ve been to some car races and talked with the guys that build the engines. While not a total gearhead myself, I do understand that these guys are artists and hand-tool engine parts with as much minute precision as any other type of art. The problem with hand-made custom parts is that they are hard to duplicate exactly. According to this post on Autoblog, this is now not a problem thanks to Geomagic, who uses scanning and custom CNC machining to exactly duplicate hand-made parts.
This is a cool feature for race cars, but the implications for the after-market parts industry and/or the car industry overall is profound. Imagine if there was a database of standard parts from which you could select the part you were looking for and have it custom CNC machined; this would be especially useful on cars 10+ years old where you many times have to go through a junk yard or parts supply house to find what you are looking for.
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