Ken Block has been doing wild stuff behind the wheel of Ford vehicles for years now, and one of his latest cars required him to lean on the manufacturer's work in 3D printing.
In the process of building his 900-plus-horsepower "Hoonitruck," which stars in Block's new, it was determined that they'd need a big, complex intake manifold to supply the truck's twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with air. Off-the-shelf solutions clearly wouldn't be able to handle the air required to make all that power.
Thus, Ford Performance came to the rescue. Working with Ford's own engineers in Europe, as well as RWTH Aachen University in Germany, the team designed and 3D-printed an aluminum intake manifold that could handle the required volume of air. Ford claims it's the largest 3D-printed metal part ever installed on a functioning vehicle.
While 3D printing has been working its way into the industry mostly via plastic, 3D-printing metal objects is gaining popularity, too. BMW has , and Bugatti used it to build . HRE, an aftermarket wheel company, used 3D printing to assemble , too.
The build process for Block's intake manifold took five days to complete, and if you're interested in seeing how everything came together, be sure to check out Ford Performance's video below.