Hint: way more than you imagined.
It all began back in 2010 when BMW needed to make, among other things, a water pump pulley for its DTM motorsport cars. Within just two years, additional use of the then-new 3D technology was incorporated, specifically for the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Today, that luxury brand incorporates a total of ten 3D-printed components in its various models.
Earlier this month, BMW announced that over the past ten years it has made one million 3D-printed parts, an impressive figure considering it only began experimenting with the advanced technology not long ago. This year alone BMW expects to reach over 200,000 3D components – a 42 percent increase over last year’s total. No longer limited to just motorsport and ultra-luxury, 3D printing tech is now also used for Mini, specifically the custom indicator inlays and dashboard trim strips.