For over 30 years, Ford Motor Company has leveraged additive manufacturing as an innovative solution for preproduction prototyping needs. Today, AM is widely used in the automotive space not only for functional prototypes, but also to produce jigs, fixtures, manufacturing aids, and even low-volume production. However, as innovative advances in the AM industry have accelerated, Ford has aggressively pursued new use cases to create exciting solutions to meet our customers needs. This presentation will show how Ford quickly developed and validated an AM solution for an aftermarket production challenge. In addition to avoiding over $150K in retooling costs, Ford further leveraged the use of design for additive manufacturing to create new value. These benefits included: simplified installation, elimination of adhesives, reduced weight and material usage by 47%, reduced piece price by 33% and improved function. Innovative solutions such as this provide improved confidence in the technology with our product development teams, creating new opportunities for automotive production.
- Recognize the aggressive approach Ford has taken with AM.
- Question the current strategy toward AM and think about new applications.