It’s no surprise that engineers at Ford make use of high-power commercial 3D printers; the technology has been in use at major industrial design operations for, well, decades. What is surprising is the revelation that Ford intends to “put the smaller Makerbot replicators at every engineer’s desk in the coming months”, according to a report at GigaOM.
This is not a change but rather an increase of an existing approach. Many Ford engineers already have MakerBot Thing-O-Matics at their desk, but what do they do with them? The video below explains:
The car manufacturer evidently wishes to increase the productivity and more importantly the creativity of their industrial designers by providing direct access to making equipment. While it’s not likely we’ll see a sudden change in Ford design, this move will likely give Ford’s designers a leap ahead in creative potential.
Why MakerBots? With many different 3D printing manufacturers to choose from, Ford chose MakerBot. We suspect it’s because the “prosumer level” Replicator 2 is a very capable machine available at a reasonable price per unit. We suspect Ford employs thousands of engineers, so price is obviously a prime concern. For MakerBot, this is probably their largest single order. Consider 1,000 machines would cost approximately USD$2,000,000 – and Ford could have many more than that. It’s a massive boost to MakerBot’s business.
Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!
The great promise of 3D printing combined with innovative 3D design (such as generative design) is to reduce parts and material waste while creating geometry that surpasses the capability of traditional subtractive machining.
Looking for more stories on 3D Printing? Try our Archive where thousands of our previous posts are easily found.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Welcome to Fabbaloo, one of the world’s oldest online news sources for 3D printing news. We’ve been in operation since 2007, where we first started examining the state of 3D printers. These devices are now relatively common among some circles in today’s world, but years ago it was extremely rare to see a 3D printer or even a 3D printed object.
At that time it was challenging to find any 3D printing news, so we decided to make our own site that covered 3D printer news, and even associated technologies like 3D scanning and 3D modeling. Today it is common to find 3D printers in schools, workshops and makerspaces, and you probably have been using 3D printed objects without even knowing they were 3D printed.
Today’s industry has finally taken up the challenge by installing thousands of industrial 3D printers, each producing previously impossible 3D printed parts that make today’s society far more efficient. The aerospace industry in particular has been producing many 3D printed parts, some even for flight critical purposes.
If you want to learn about 3D printers, then there’s no better place than Fabbaloo’s 3D printer news to see the latest happenings.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.