Ford Motor Company's embrace of 3D printing for prototype and materials was catalyzed by advances in recent technology, as well as the expansion of applications and the increase in government support for the innovation. According to Global Industry Analysts, this groundbreaking technology is already slated to yield nearly $10 billion by the turn of the decade, making it a logical option for automakers like the Blue Oval.
As Ford's team is already discovering, 3D printing is able to craft parts lighter in weight, ultimately contributing to increased fuel efficiency - for example, a 3D-printed spoiler has the potential to weigh less than half of the same part cast in metal. The feature is also cost-efficient, rendering it the perfect mechanism to produce low-volume prototype parts and specialized race car materials. Watch it in the video below:
3D printing can also expedite the process of making tooling and fixtures of greater scale - parts that normally take months to create, given the process of modeling and prototype tooling, would only take a couple of days.
It's clear that 3D printing, once an innovation on the horizon, is now on the forefront for Ford. Learn more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.
Jumping on the growing trend of three-dimensional printing, Ford Motor Company is now looking into the potential to print large-scale, one-piece auto parts. The 3D-printed pieces, printed using the Stratasys Infinite 3D printer, would be utilized for prototyping and future production vehicles for the first time.
Considering its capacity to print virtually any length or shape of automotive parts, the Stratasys is the optimal piece of technology to pioneer 3D vehicle manufacturing. The process would eventually facilitate greater efficiency and affordability to craft tooling, prototype parts and other materials for Ford Performance products and more. Currently, the all-new 3D printer system takes residence at Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn.
“With Infinite Build technology, we can print large tools, fixtures and components, making us more nimble in design iterations,” Ellen Lee, Ford's technical leader of additive manufacturing research, said. “We’re excited to have early access to Stratasys’ new technology to help steer development of large-scale printing for automotive applications and requirements.”
Check back to learn more about Ford's innovative printing technology, and stop by Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington for additional information.