Materials & Assembly
Ford Builds Metal Prototypes With 3D Printing

Ford engineers send CAD files between facilities, then build prototypes at workstations using MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printers.  (Source: Ford Motor Co.)
Ford engineers send CAD files between facilities, then build prototypes at workstations
using MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printers.
(Source: Ford Motor Co.)

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 3/3
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Re: 3D printing is an exciting space
Ann R. Thryft   1/8/2013 3:49:24 PM
mrdon, thanks for that link. In commenting on an earlier post last year, I expressed the idea that 3D printing could be used for scanning and reproducing museum replicas of various art objects, such as sculptures. Looks like that's being done by more than one artist. Good to see my wish come true.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Re: 3D everywhere
Charles Murray   1/8/2013 3:08:23 PM
These parts are truly functional, so they can be used in prototype testing applications. The main reason they don't make it to production is that these techniques wouldn't be practical for huge volumes. In production, automakers can build hundreds of parts per hour. So while it may take weeks to build the production tooling, they get that time back when the tooling is completed and they move to large-scale production. In contrast, the methods mentioned in this article can take hours per part, so while that works for small lots, it doesn't work for volumes in the tens of thousands. In that sense, building a car is a lot different than building a 787. Automotive production volumes are just too big for this technology.

User Rank
3D Printing Limitations
apresher   1/8/2013 2:27:12 PM
Chuck, Excellent.  But I think what many of us are interested in is your take on the limitations of the technology ...  in terms of what it can and can't deliver.  Thanks.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Re: 3D everywhere
Ann R. Thryft   1/8/2013 12:24:06 PM
Chuck, this is great news, although I'm not familiar with the term "surrogate" in 3D printing/AM. I have basically the same question as Lou: are the parts for form and fit only, or are they also functional? And another question: if some of them arfe functional, is this for prototyping or low-end production volumes? Including SLA says prototypes, but LS could be used for production parts.

User Rank
Re: 3D printing is an exciting space
mrdon   1/8/2013 12:18:52 PM
Elizabeth M, I agree. This year will be exciting to see all of the innovative products being created using 3D printers. Every Thursday, Adafruit posts blogs regarding the state of 3D printing. Here's the link.https://www.adafruit.com/blog/?s=3D+printing

Elizabeth M
User Rank
3D printing is an exciting space
Elizabeth M   1/8/2013 11:38:18 AM
Some of the most impressive gains are being made in 3D printing. I think this is the space to watch this year. This way of prototyping could revolutionize the auto industry and allow manufacturers to bang things out much more efficiently and cost effectively. Will be interesting to see how this evolves and is adopted by other automakers.

User Rank
3D everywhere
naperlou   1/8/2013 10:05:56 AM
Chuck, there seems to be an explosion of 3D for prototyping.  I would think that low prodcution rate parts could be made with 3D printing as well.  Of course, for high volume production, injection molding is much faster.  And once the mold is made, it is relatively cheap. 

One thing, though.  You mention parts such as brake disks.  Are these usable as real brakes, or are they just used to test fit and manufacturability.

<<  <  Page 3/3
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team 100 to make (about $161 US).
At Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Joe Wascow told Design News how Optimal Design prototyped a machine that captures the wing-beat of a duck.
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service