Ford is trying its hand at a new way of manufacturing inexpensive and lightweight car parts: 3D printing.
While 3D printing has existed in the auto manufacturing scene for quite some time, it was largely used for prototypes and molds, not the actual product.
Ford is now looking to use the technology to produce a variety of customizable and low-volume parts.
Ivan Sentch, the New Zealander who is 3D printing an Aston Martin DB4 and building the car in his garage, is back at it after a two-year hiatus, he told us today.
In an email, Sentch said he’s moved into a new house and is bringing the car back into the garage where he’ll pick at the project, bit by bit, until he’s done.
“It’ll just be a couple of hours at night after the kids go to sleep but you’d be surprised how much you can get done doing just a little bit each day,” said Sentch.
Kinda puts our Facebook meandering before bed to shame, really. (Read More…)
Solid Concepts, a 3D Printing services company, has announced that it has successfully manufactured a functioning 3D printed metal gun. To produce the more than 30 parts needed to assemble a classic 1911 design, Solid Concepts used a 3D printing process that deposits powdered metals that are then sintered with a laser. The result is metal parts that are hard enough to withstand the stresses and high pressures found in a firearm. The gun is made from 33 17-4 stainless steel and Inconel 625 and has successfully fired 50 rounds. Even the carbon-fiber filled nylon hand grip was 3D printed, using “selective laser sintering”. Solid Concepts says that the project proves the viability of 3D printing of metal parts for commercial applications. (Read More…)
A few weeks ago, we ran a post about a new computer driven tool developed by Ford that allows them to rapidly prototype sheet metal parts. At the time, I raised the potential that Ford’s Freeform Fabrication Technology might have for enthusiasts working on customizing or restoring cars. Load a sheet of metal in the frame, load a file on the computer, and watch it hammer out a fender for your classic or custom car. Apparently that wasn’t much of a stretch. Engadget reports on a New Zealand man named Ivan Sentch who is using an $800 desktop 3D printer to fabricate the body for a 1961 Series I Aston Martin DB4 replica he is making. (Read More…)