Communication Ford is driving the future of automotive 3D printing, and this time collaborating with HP to innovatively reuse materials and parts from 3D printing into automotive injection-molded parts.
One of the advantages of 3D printing from a sustainability perspective is its ability to produce less waste than traditional manufacturing.
Sustainability is a priority for both companies, which, through joint exploration, has led to this Earth-friendly solution.
The resulting injection-molded parts are better for the environment without compromising the durability and quality standards demanded by Ford and its customers.
The recycled material is used to manufacture injection-molded fuel line pins attached to the Super Duty F-250 trucks.
The parts have better resistance to chemicals and moisture than the conventional versions, and are 7 percent lighter and 10 percent lower in cost.
The Ford research team has identified 10 more fuel line pins across existing vehicles that could benefit from this innovative use of materials and are transferring them to future models.
Ford said: Finding new ways to work with sustainable materials and reduce waste is a passion of Ford, and many companies are finding great uses for 3D printing technologies, but with HP, we are the first to discover a high-value application for waste potentially going to a landfill. And turn them into practical and durable auto parts.
HP 3D printers are designed for high efficiency, with systems and structures to reduce the excess material they generate and reuse a greater proportion of the materials placed in them.
Working with Ford, which uses HP 3D printing technology in the company’s advanced manufacturing center, the team created this zero-waste solution.
“Our collaboration with Ford extends the environmental benefits of 3D printing even further, showing how we are bringing very different industries together to make better use of manufacturing consumables,” HP said.
Ford is developing new applications and using many different processes and materials for 3D printing, including filament, sand, powders, and liquefaction of solids.
The company uses 3D printing for a variety of low-volume commercial vehicle parts and fittings used by assembly line workers, saving time and enhancing quality.
Company-wide, Ford aims to have 100 percent sustainable materials in its cars.