Ford is expanding the applications of rapid prototyping technologies in order to speed up development times and improve the final quality by increasing the number of design iterations.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.carbodydesign.com
Ford’s interest in 3D printing dates back to 1988, when the company purchased the third 3D printer ever created and has since then produced more than 500,000 parts using additive manufacturing. Among the recent projects where 3D printing has played a key role are the new Ford GT and the Mondeo Vignale. For the GT, 3D printing was used during the development of the intake manifold on the EcoBoost race engine, for the F1-style steering wheel with integrated driver controls and the transmission paddle-shift controls and for producing key lightweight structural components for the upward-swinging doors. For the Mondeo Vignale, 3D printing has been extensively adopted to try hundreds of different designs. Among prototype parts manufactured using 3D printing processes were the unique hexagonal Vignale design in the upper front grille, Vignale badges and exterior ornamentation, cut from nylon, the 19-inch Vignale lustre nickel alloy wheels, and dual chrome exhausts with polished aluminium surround.