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The owner of a local manufacturing company came to us to custom 3D model & 3D print a hard-to-find replacement part for the engine of his work fleet.


Although polymers were usually not suitable for making internal combustion engine components, in this case, due to the water-cooled nature of the EGR Valve & the material choice of an extremely high-temperature resin ceramic composite for injection mold prototyping (dimensionally stable up to 430F or 221C), we decided to give this project a shot.

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Multiple draft versions were quickly 3D modeled to test basic part fit.

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And then quickly 3D printed in PLA for cheap & fast (10 minutes per iteration) draft versions.


Once we were sure the part would fit as well as it possibly could...

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A more refined version was 3D modeled to be printed in the much more expensive temperature-resistant mold-making resin ceramic composite.


Since the marginal cost of printing 1 copy vs printing a full build plate of 60 copies was only $10, a whole build plate of parts was fabricated in case the client wanted to resell the extra copies to not only recover the cost of this project. But to potentially even make a little money on top of that.


As expected, the part fit like a glove.


Although the resin ceramic composite was extremely temperature resistant for a polymer, it was unclear how long the custom replacement part would last without extensive testing. However, given that the mold-making resin ceramic composite was one of the highest temperature-resistant polymers in the world (way above Ultem), it was not irrational to expect it would outlast the OEM injection molded plastic part.

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