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Ford Looking To Do More With 3D Printing

3D printing is one of the most innovative technologies to develop in recent years.  It allows companies to produce the parts they need without having to manufacture them in a factory.  This technology has made its way into the trucking industry, but its potential and the possibilities are limitless.  One of those possibilities is in lightweighting, and Ford is looking to jump on it.

Ford wants to develop its 3D printing capabilities with Infinite Build printers made by Stratasys.  It plans to have room-sized printers that can “print” out auto part of any size made of plastic instead of metal.  This is an ambitious venture and Ford is the first company to pursue it.

There are many advantages that 3D printing provides the trucking industry.  First, since the parts are made of plastic, they are lighter than their metal counterparts.  This is known as lightweighting, which makes trucks lighter and will help reduce trucking companies’ fuel cost.  Second, it allows trucking companies to produce the parts they need to their exact specifications.  Third, the printer can work a long time without stopping.  The printer can load itself if it runs out of material and it can continue to work even when the workers go home.

There are also some drawbacks to 3D printing.  First, the printed parts are not as strong as their metal counterparts.  Although that it is a possibility in the future, the ability is not quite there yet.  Second, it is not fast enough to produce parts in mass quantities.  It is more efficient at producing parts as they are needed.

3D printing has made big strides in recent years.  If those strides continue, it will have a great effect on the trucking industry for years to come, especially in lightweighting.  If you have any questions able the industry, please contact us.


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