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Ford and HP to Collaborate for Developing Automotive Components out of 3D Printed Waste

Posted By : Amol Mishra   |   Date : Apr 6 2021 5:17 AM

Ford and HP to Collaborate for Developing Automotive Components  out of 3D Printed Waste

There is a global trend among Industries to develop sustainable materials. Here is a potential collaboration on its way to developing sustainable products from waste. 

Ford and HP, the Automotive and the IT giant, have recently teamed up for developing automobile components using 3D-printed waste. Both companies urge for sustainability as their top priority, and in a victory for the circular economy, they have introduced an industry-first programme that converts used 3D printed powders and parts into injection-moulded vehicle components, specifically fuel-line clips for Ford's Super Duty F-250 trucks.

According to HP, additive manufacturing works by giving more value to the continued development of manufacturing systems and processes. On the other side, Ford believes that the technology will transform the customization of low-volume automotive parts. Ford already has a company target of using 100% recycled materials in all of its vehicles.

The Ford technical fellow, Debbie Mielewski when speaking about Sustainability, said that at ford we are passionate about reducing waste, finding innovative ways to work with sustainable materials, and developing an efficient and effective model for the circular economy. 

“Many companies are finding great uses for 3D printing technologies, but, together with HP, we’re the first to find a high-value application for a waste powder that likely would have gone to landfill, transforming it into functional and durable auto parts,” Debbie added.

According to the press release, injection moulded fuel-line clips are 10% less costly to manufacture, are 7% thinner, and have greater moisture and chemical resistance than conventional manufacturing methods. 

Aside from the fact that the two companies worked out a realistic way to prolong the life of used 3D printed powders, Ford's testing team discovered that this revolutionary approach would add value to ten other fuel-line clips on the automaker's current cars, and they are trying to integrate it into future car models as well.

Ford has previously been known for the use of 3D printing, and it hasn't stopped there: the company is constantly trying to develop new uses for the technology. It manufactures various low-volume commercial vehicle components, as well as fixtures used by assembly line staff, using a variety of materials, including sand, powder, and filament, and AM processes.

HP, on the other hand, recently collaborated with another firm to 3D print car parts for Nissan's NISMO division. Its printers were designed with productivity and sustainability in mind from the start, reducing waste and allowing more resources to be reused. Ford's Advanced Manufacturing Center also uses HP's Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printers, and the two companies collaborated to create and deploy this closed-loop, zero-waste injection moulding solution in less than a year.

And a lot of plastic will be kept out of landfills, particularly if this concept catches on and more manufacturers join HP or form other partnerships. Smile Direct Club, which has 60 printers and manufactures over 40,000 dental aligners a day, is one of Ford's plastic suppliers.

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