This robotic arm automatically refills the printing material when needed.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Nick Miotke/Roadshow / Read the article
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Tree-like support structures are 3D printed first, in a different material, before the panel above it is rendered.

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3D-printed center consoles like this could be used in future verification prototypes or concept cars. Eventually, maybe even during mass production.

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A Ford engineer keeps tabs on the Stratasys Infinite Build's operations.

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This commercial prototype printer is the size of a small room.

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Closeup of a 3D-printed center stack.

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It's very important to keep an eye on temperatures inside the printer by using thermal imaging.

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Thanks in part to the robotic material refill arm, this printer can continue to work overnight, long after Ford's engineers have gone home.

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Ford sees the potential not just for 3D-printed car parts, but also for manufacturing aids like jigs and molds.

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Ford plans to install a network of cameras to keep tabs on the printer remotely after hours.

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Ford has had the Stratasys printer since November, but its partnership with the company goes back many years.

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Sand-like micropellets are melted down to create the printing material.

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The thermoplastic material is a proprietary Stratasys creation.

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Published: / Caption: / Photo: Nick Miotke/Roadshow / Read the article
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Published: / Caption: / Photo: Nick Miotke/Roadshow / Read the article
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