Windell Oskay and Lenore Edman, the majordomos at evilmadscientist.com, are exactly the sort of technologists and makers who are driving 3D printing and desktop manufacturing forward with their writing and creative solutions to modern problems.
Edman, a classical Greek scholar, works with professors, librarians, engineers and scientists and has helped to popularize edible origami – among other pursuits. She once overhauled a mid-century Hawthorne ladies bicycle and she designed and sewed her own wedding dress.
Oskay, a published playwright and award winning cartoonist has at various times been employed as a quantum mechanic, photographer, and atomic clock maker. He's designed and built an interactive dining table, a carbon-fiber electric guitar, hard-drive wind chimes, radio-controlled hovercrafts, nixie tube clocks, and a magnetohydrodynamic-powered boat.
Erdman recently wrote about the use of 3D printed parts made to refurbish a vintage pickup truck and looked to her dad for an example of modern manufacturing and prototyping techniques.
Her parents stopped by during a road trip and it just so happens they were driving a 1934 Dodge Brothers pickup truck. The pickup truck never had both mirrors, but a number of states now require side mirrors to make the vehicle street legal, so her father turned to 3D printing and scanning technology to solve the problem. He had the driver side mirror scanned and then had a CAD model which was flipped to work on the passenger side, and once the final tweaks were complete, the model was 3D printed and sand cast from aluminum.
Edman says her dad isn't the only example of new technology being brought to bear on vintage cars.
As an example, you need look no further than Ian Moreland, or madmorrie as he's known on Shapeways. Moreland found that when he had interior panels built for his 1962 Valiant he'd forgotten to make allowances for the needed clearance of the rear door lock handles. Rather than go through the pain of having the door panels reworked, Moreland simply decided to adapt the handles instead. The design included a splined extension which allowed the handle to be recessed into the door trim. Problem solved, and in an elegant and inexpensive way.
Photos by Lenore Edman and Ian Moreland.