Automotive company Ford has teamed up with 3D printing start up Carbon3D to test their ultra fast CLIP technology and explore its potential of not only producing prototypes but also manufacture final parts for cars.
Carbon3D made worldwide headlines in April this year, when they first introduced their groundbreaking, extremely fast Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) Technology to the public.
According to a post on their website, the California-based start up had already approached Ford back in 2014 to demonstrate their 3D printing technology. “It was really exciting to see the resulting mechanical properties. There were a lot of things we saw in the technology that would address the main challenges, and we decided to investigate,” said Ellen Lee, team leader in additive manufacturing research at Ford.
The team joined Carbon3D’s early access program and started using one of their pre-released versions of the 3D printer. They focused their research on what commercial-quality polymeric parts could be produced. Meanwhile, for example, Ford has already printed elastomer grommets for the Focus Electric. These soft but sturdy grommets protect wiring on the inside of the door while opening and closing.
The two companies have also joined forces to work on suitable, new materials for their additive manufacturing technology. So far, the team has tested several materials and is further investigating resin modifications for improved mechanical properties.
Ford has also recently teamed up with TurboSquid to offer car enthusiasts the possibility to either buy 3D models of their favourite Ford car models or even have them 3D printed.