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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.