Ford 3D Printing Technology Opens New Doors for Design Innovation

August 20th, 2013 by

Ford Full 3D PrinterInventing new vehicle prototypes is an arduous task that requires a vast amount of man-power. Between designing the prototype itself and assembling an experimental chas sis to test the prototype on a physical level, both processes can take months. Thanks to Ford however, a new 3D printing technology for producing prototypes will cut development time down to a matter of days.

The Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology system, or F3T, is a system used for 3D parts printing. It can print a vehicle prototype from a CAD file in mere hours. At River View Ford in Oswego, we’re very excited about this new technology and can’t wait to see what possibilities the F3T can provide for consumers!

How Does Ford’s 3D Printing Technology Work?

Using two stylus tools, the F3T system is able to cut and form thin sheets of metal into a three-dimensional component ready for assembly. While this method of 3D printing technology isn’t exactly for high-volume stamping, the machine allows Ford prototypes to get into the hands of their engineers as soon as possible without the time-intensive die engineering, construction, and additional machining. The F3T puts out parts sixty times faster than traditional processes, reduces overall development costs, improves prototype research, and offers great potential outside of the automotive spectrum.

The Future of Car Customization

Cutting and shaping pieces for Ford prototypes aside, this 3D printing technology could be an important time-saving and cost-effective tool for customers interested in customizing their vehicles. Consumers could have the opportunity to simply order sheet-printed parts for their cars at a fraction of the cost and without as much of a waiting period. This would be very helpful for people with older vehicles who wouldn’t be able to order parts directly from the manufacturer. Maybe customers could use the F3T system to develop their own custom accessories. Aesthetic pieces like spoilers, running boards, or hood intakes could be designed in CAD and then sent to an F3T for molding. The possibilities are unlimited!

Ordering Parts is Quick and Easy at River View Ford

Until the Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology sees more practical consumer application, you might just have to order parts the old-fashioned way. We here at River View Ford make that easy! Just give us a call at (630) 897-8900 and let us know what you need. We’ll have your part in our shop for you, and we can install it if need be!

Posted in Ford Parts