Ford Motor Company has created new manufacturing technology. This technology is expected to drop the development time of new design prototypes to days intend of months. This new technology is known as the Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology (F3T).
F3T has two “stylus-type tools” that work in harmony with each other on the opposite sides to transform a thin sheet of metal into a 3D prototype.
Let’s say that a designer wants to test out a new chassis design, F3T can print a prototype from a CAD file in just hours. This makes it possible to avoid having to go through die engineering, construction, and machining. Though this technology is not optimal for high-volume stamping, Ford will be able to get prototypes in the hands of engineers very quickly, according to The Verge. The parts are created 60 times faster.
This process will reduce costs and improve R&D. One day this technology will be able to potentially allow consumers to order sheet-printed parts for their new cars.
Perhaps this technology will be able to help companies outside of the aerospace, defense, and transportation industry. Check out a demo of the technology below: