Ford Motor Company, the American multinational automaker, recently revealed that the Mustang Mach-E First Edition customers in the U.S. are receiving a surprise 3D printed sculpture. This gift courtesy to the team at the Ford Advanced Manufacturing Center, shows the special connection Ford has with its customers.
Now, each Mustang Mach-E First Edition customer will receive a special collectible 3D printed sculpture of a wireframe pony in the colour corresponding to their vehicle’s paint job.
3D Printed Sculptures
The 3D printed sculpture is based on the large-scale wireframe model of the pony featured at the global reveal of Mustang Mach-E in November 2019.
The wireframe pony sculptures are 3D printed in white plastic in-house at the Ford Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford. The Ford team used Selective Laser Sintering (SS) systems from EOS to 3D print the sculptures. SLS 3D printing systems used powdered polymer materials to build an object in a layer-by layer form. After printing, the parts are required to be cleaned off of all the excess powder sticking to the object.
Upon the clean-up, they are then sent to a dye facility where they are dyed one of three colours – Rapid Red Metallic, Grabber Blue Metallic or Carbonized grey – to correspond with available colour choices for First Edition. Included is a baseplate with the vehicle’s VIN.
The company hasn’t shared the detail but the sculptures are probably made from Nylon material as it is one of the most popular SLS material.
Harold Sears, technical leader for additive manufacturing commented, “This isn’t the first time we’ve 3D printed a vehicle part, but this one is different. It highlights a special connection with the customer and is really exciting because it showcases the potential to personalize. When you think additive manufacturing, you think of making parts, assembly fixtures or jigs to help build a vehicle, but this is another place where additive manufacturing can shine.”
The collectible 3D printed sculptures or the wireframe pony marks the first time Ford has issued a 3D printed component as part of a gift directly to the customer – and it’s allowing additive manufacturing to establish a new-use case within the enterprise.
About Ford Motor Company: Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford trucks, utility vehicles, and cars – increasingly including electrified versions – and Lincoln luxury vehicles.
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