With self-driving cars often the focus of the car industry’s future, Ford shook things up when they announced plans to start 3D printing car parts.
Ford is hoping to produce large, 3D car parts using a 3D printer called the “Stratasys Infinite Build 3D.” Ford believes that printing car parts could help simplify the manufacturing process, making it faster and more affordable.
3D printers are able to print parts in any length, shape, or size, which could be the solution to replacing parts in older models that are no longer made or parts in new cars as needed.
Ford is the first United States car automotive company to experiment with 3D printing technology.
3D printing has already become a vital part of several industries including fashion, art, toys, and so forth.
Currently, producing new car models takes an exceptional amount of time. The model has to be created on a computer and then often takes months to physically create. However, 3D printers are able to print and produce items in a matter of several days which could save manufacturers a lot of time.
Although there are plenty of positives to 3D printing car parts, there are potential negatives that would need to be addressed. It’s unclear how safe a car would be if all of the parts inside of it were fairly light weight. There are also concerns that 3D printers could not produce enough products, failing to meet potential demands.
At this time, it is hard to tell if 3D printing could positively or negatively impact the car industry but Ford is willing to take the risk.