Ford's testing out making car parts using a massive 3D printer

 
Lynsey Barber
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3D printed car parts are being made by Ford in a new pilot scheme (Source: Ford )

Car spoilers and other bespoke and custom car parts could be made for Ford's vehicles with the help of a massive 3D printer.

The US car company is testing out the technique with a new machine, the Infinite Build, from Stratasys, which can construct parts made of plastic on a larger scale than many 3D printers - feet rather than inches - something it said could be a breakthrough for car manufacturing.

A video shows Ford experimenting with a six foot long spoiler and they believe it can be used on low volume lines, such as race cars. Meanwhile, customers could also benefit from the technique which can be used to create custom designs and Ford will also use the massive 3D printer for prototyping.

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“With Infinite Build technology, we can print large tools, fixtures and components, making us more nimble in design iterations,” said Ford technical leader Ellen Lee.

"We’re excited to have early access to Stratasys’ new technology to help steer development of large-scale printing for automotive applications and requirements.”

According to analysts at IDC, the amount spent on 3D printing is expected to grow to $29bn (£24bn) by 2020, from $13.2bn in 2016. It expects the automotive design industry to generate the largest revenues for 3D printing firms.

WATCH: Ford tests out massive 3D printing

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