Innovative 3D printing of pistons has led to more power gains in the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
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Pistons inside the Porsche 911 GT2 RS are being manufactured using 3D printing, with the technology slowly being introduced in different areas of the automaker's offerings.

Porsche says the process of 3D printing has allowed engineers to create a stronger and lighter piston, as well as creating a cooling duct to lower temperatures.

“Thanks to the new, lighter pistons, we can increase the engine speed, lower the temperature load on the pistons and optimise combustion,” said Porsche's Frank Ickinger, from the company's advance drive development department.

“This makes it possible to get up to [22kW] more power from the [515kW] biturbo engine, while at the same time improving efficiency." he said.

The method means engineers can design the internal structure of the piston, strengthening areas exposed to significant stress.

While 3D printed pistons are an innovation, the process of 3D printing parts is not new to the German sports car maker.

A number of components are 3D printed on Porsche 911 and Porsche 918 models, but the technology has been widely adopted by Porsche Classic, creating brand-new parts for older models no longer in production.

Around 20 different parts are manufactured by Porsche Classic, including a clutch release lever for the rare Porsche 959.