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Ford developed wheel locks that use your voice as 3D-printed pattern

The soundwave from an owner's voice can be made into physical, printable pattern. Wild.

Ford 3D printed wheel lock

This is some nifty engineering, Ford.


Wheel locks are a wonderful tool, but not perfect, for stopping thieves. However, Ford seems to have upped the ante when it comes to wheel lock security.

The latest iteration uses the soundwaves from an owner's voice to create a unique 3D printable pattern. Ford of Europe said on Tuesday that this method is a lot like a using an iris or fingerprint for added security in other parts of life. Ford and its partner, EOS, turn the recorded soundwave into a printed circle that's then used as the locking nut's indentation and key. Something like the driver saying, "I drive a Mustang" quickly turns into a unique key.

Both pieces are 3D-printed together with stainless steel, and when finished, they're separated with a little bit of grinding. It's virtually impossible to clone the wheel locks since the printed soundwave isn't uniform throughout. Instead, Ford said there are uneven indentations that get wider and deeper in the wheel lock. This makes it impossible for someone to take an imprint of the pattern, as waxes would break, according to the automaker.

Read more: The best 3D printers in 2020 for beginners and budget creators  

Perhaps we'll see these little marvels exit the laboratory and hit the market sooner rather than later.

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