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January 22, 2014 by

Announced at the North American International Auto Show, vehicle manufacturer Ford is next among those who appreciate the time and money saving advantages of printing 3D molds to make parts. The company says that it can save up to two months manufacturing parts, which means more time can be spent on product testing and other ways of improving products and services.

 

While Ford is currently concentrating on printing molds to make parts, the future brings direct metal vehicle parts that are 3D printed without any molds. Other vehicle manufacturers are setting their sights on 3D printing as well, so Ford won’t be the only company to pursue this route.

 

Ford showed a pickup truck at the auto show, which used military-grade aluminum-alloy body panels that are 3D printed, effectively shedding 700 pounds from the standard total weight of the truck manufactured with their regular process. Imagine the improved gas mileage from the lesser weight.

 

While investors are going to reap the rewards of lower-cost and faster turn-around times, this gain should also be extended to consumers. 3D engineered parts mean better quality control and improved service. Perhaps the manufacturers will also extend the cost savings to consumers.

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