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Ford and HP team up to produce parts from 3D printer waste

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From the point of view of sustainability, one of the advantages of 3D printing is that it can produce less waste than traditional subtractive manufacturing, because best of all, the resulting part is lighter and cheaper to make. And even if the result is failed and old prototypes, we still receive by-products like plastic spools that could end up in landfills.

This is what makes Ford’s recent development interesting. With the help of HP and three other companies, the car manufacturer has found a way to reuse powder spending for 3D printing and parts to create injection-molded vehicle parts.

The companies say the discovery is the first for the automotive industry. In addition, Ford is already using the technique to produce fuel line clamps for its F-250 trucks.

The company says the resulting clips are seven percent lighter and cost 10 percent less to make than their conventional counterparts. They are also just as durable, as they are more resistant to chemicals and moisture.

Ford and HP team up to produce parts from 3D

“One key to achieving our sustainability goals and solving society’s broader problems is to work with other similar companies – we cannot do it alone,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford’s Sustainability technician. “With HP, we defined the waste problem, solved the technical challenges and found a solution in less than a year, which is something we are all proud of.”

A single zero-waste component in a fossil-fueled “guzzler” like the F-250 will not prevent the impending climate crisis, but it is a step in the right direction. And Ford says it is considering using the technology to make fuel line clips for 10 other vehicles in its alignment chain.

Equally important, the company is spending $ 22 billion (about € 18.6 billion) on the development of EVs, including a zero-emission version of its popular F-150.

Source: Engadget

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