Car giant Ford has revealed plans to test 3D-printing large car parts – including spoilers – as part of its prototyping and car production plans for the future.
The US firm is using the Stratasys Infinite Build 3D-printer to explore how it can be deployed as part of its production line – creating new car parts in almost any shape and size that the company says it could use in prototypes or for car personalising, as well as in full car production in years to come.
Ford’s Ellen Lee said: “With the Infinite Build technology, we are now able to print large tools, fixtures, and components, making us more nimble in design iterations.
“We’re excited to have early access to Stratasys’ new technology in order to help steer the development of large scale printing for automotive applications and requirements.”
The car maker says the increasing cost efficiency of 3D-printing makes it a viable solution for manufacturing, while the lightweight nature of 3D-printed parts could also aid fuel efficiency for drivers too.
Ford is now using the 3D-printing system at its research and innovation centre in Dearborn, Michigan.
For now, the company says the process is not fast enough to be used in the full-scale production process, but they have said it could be used to create specialised parts for race cars.