Thanks to 3D printing, this vintage 1919 Harley-Davidson is now ready to hit the road.

Imagine you've taken on the challenge of restoring a vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Perhaps you're drawn to the rich history of the early days of Harley-Davidson and couldn't resist the opportunity. However, sourcing parts for such an old machine can be quite the task. This was the dilemma faced by a dedicated Harley enthusiast in Ontario, Canada, who had been meticulously restoring a 1919 model for nearly half a century. Despite his patience, he hit a roadblock when it came to replacing a broken Bakelite distributor cap.

After an exhaustive search for a spare part proved futile, the restorer sought out help from Carl van de Rijzen at Visual First, a company known for its expertise in 3D scanning. Collaborating with Edwin Rappard of 4C Creative CAD CAM Consultants, they faced a unique challenge: how to scan a broken part missing a significant chunk. Thankfully, the missing piece mirrored the existing structure, simplifying the replication process.

Utilizing modern 3D printing technology, they successfully recreated the distributor cap, opting for a polymer substitute fitting for a motorcycle nearing its centennial. This innovative solution highlights the fusion of old-world craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology, showcasing the potential for motorcycle enthusiasts in Ontario and beyond to overcome restoration challenges.

Ultimately, this story demonstrates how modern tools can empower enthusiasts to breathe new life into vintage machines, ensuring they can hit the road once again.