The production of buses, airplanes and automobiles is being reimagined across the globe, as 3d printing offers the manufacturers of these products a completely new way to think about their processes.
This morning, Ford Motor Company announced their initiative to use a 3d printer made by Stratasys, which can build objects of massive size and complexity, to create large car parts such as spoilers — both in the prototyping phase and end use phases.
“For Stratasys, landing Ford is a coup and could give it traction in vehicle manufacturing,” Larry Dignan over at ZDNet writes. “Ford gets to conduct additive manufacturing experiments via early access to the Infinite Build Systems. Stratasys and other 3D printer companies have had volatile quarters as manufacturing globally has slowed. In addition, HP said it recognized revenue from its 3D printing systems for the first time last quarter.”
One of the largest challenges for manufacturers worldwide looking to use 3d printers on their production floors has been size. If a machine can make a part with a limited cubic size, then in many cases the build volume simply does not offer companies what they need. Stratasys’ Infinite Build System was designed to change that.
“It takes time to build meaningful applications around meaningful technologies,” Stratasys CEO Ilan Levin told a group of journalists last year, when unveiling the new system. “We’ve been doing that in quiet in our back rooms. This is the first time we’re presenting what is a significant step forward.”
The Infinite Build System was built in close collaboration with Boeing as well, in a bid by Stratasys to create practical 3d printing solutions for advanced manufacturing.