2020 GT500 will have two 3D-printed brake parts

Jarstang

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FROM FANTASY TO REALITY: FORD’S NEW $45 MILLION ADVANCED MANUFACTURING CENTER BRINGING THE FUTURE TO LIFE – TODAY

2020-GT500-Mustang-3D-Printed-Brake-Parts.jpg

  • Ford is making a big bet on futuristic technologies to help speed manufacturing innovation at its new Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Mich.
  • Ford, which leads North American automakers in manufacturing capacity utilization, will ramp up prototyping including 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality, robotics and much more at its new facility before bringing tested innovations to auto plants across the globe
  • The company’s $45 million investment co-locates approximately 100 advanced manufacturing technology experts and their specialized equipment in one open space. For Ford, this combination of advanced manufacturing expertise and a skilled workforce will continue to support the company’s drive to mass produce the highest quality vehicles
REDFORD, Mich., Dec. 4, 2018 – Inside Ford’s new Advanced Manufacturing Center, an engineer stands in front of a 3D printing machine churning out brake parts for Ford’s soon-to-be-introduced Shelby Mustang GT500. Across the room, two team members strap on virtual reality headsets to design and simulate production lines, while another is working alongside a collaborative robot, programming a safer way to install a vehicle part.

These technologies are no longer simply a Hollywood vision of the future. For Ford, which has been breaking new ground in auto production for more than a century, they are critical tools and technologies to improve the complex and demanding task of building cars and trucks. And this is all happening every day under one roof at the company’s new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford.

“More than 100 years ago, Ford created the moving assembly line, forever changing how vehicles would be mass-produced,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of Global Operations. “Today, we are reinventing tomorrow’s assembly line – tapping technologies once only dreamed of on the big screen – to increase our manufacturing efficiency and quality.”

Approximately 100 experts work at the development hub for cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality, robotics, digital manufacturing and more.

New Horizons: 3D Printing

Today, Ford is driving the future of 3D printing in the automotive industry. The Advanced Manufacturing Center has 23 3D printing machines and is working with 10 3D manufacturing companies. This allows Ford experts to develop applications with different materials – from sand to nylon powder to carbon. One application currently under development has the potential to save the company more than $2 million.

There are 3D printed parts in the manufacturing and production of Ford vehicles. The soon-to-be-revealed Shelby Mustang GT500, coming at the North American International Auto Show in January, has two 3D printed brake parts, while the F-150 Raptor built for China includes a 3D printed interior part. As 3D printing becomes more affordable, 3D parts will become more prevalent.

Three-dimensional printed parts also help employees improve vehicle quality. Assembly line workers at Michigan Assembly Plant, where Ford builds the Ranger pickup, use five different 3D printed tools. These tools played a critical role in the launch of Ranger, removing weeks from an already tight timeline and ensuring quality is built in – from the first vehicle that rolled off the line.

Ford, which purchased the third 3D printer ever made in 1988, now has 90 3D printers globally producing parts and tools. On the shop floor, workers team with advanced manufacturing experts to identify ways to save the company time and money, including how to 3D print replacement parts to keep lines running instead of waiting for parts that can take weeks to be fabricated.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

While millions of children catch fictional animals or capture portals in popular augmented reality video games, Ford is banking on augmented and virtual reality to help it simulate and design assembly lines to build millions of vehicles. Ford experts don specialized gaming equipment and configure a virtual reality production line without ever leaving the Advanced Manufacturing Center, allowing them to identify potentially hazardous maneuvers and fine tune workflows long before an assembly line is constructed.

Experts also develop specialized experiences in augmented and virtual reality to allow Ford manufacturing teams to work collaboratively in plants around the world. This enables people on different continents to work in the same virtual experience simultaneously. For instance, if a vehicle is intended to be produced globally, teams can work together to design optimal manufacturing workstations for all continents. This is advantageous because the technology allows teams from around the world to design a workstation for vehicle production as if they were standing in the same physical space.

Collaborative Robots

Ford has made significant advances during the last few years with collaborative robots – also known as cobots – with more than 100 of them in 24 Ford plants globally.

These robots are smaller and can work safely alongside people, without protective cages. In Livonia Transmission Plant, a cobot performs a job that was so ergonomically difficult for employees that they could only do that job for one hour at a time. The cobot was a welcome addition to the production line. These cobots also help Ford reduce costs by eliminating the need for expensive safety cages that larger robots require for safety reasons. Utilizing cobots in the Advanced Manufacturing Center allows the company to identify and address potential production issues before the cobots are installed in plants.

“While we are increasing our use of collaborative robots, we strongly believe there is a need for both people and robots,” said Hinrichs. “People are better at doing certain jobs, while robots are able to perform certain tasks, including those that are ergonomically taxing for people.”







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Darkane

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Makes a guy wonder if the car was delayed because of this. Hahah.
 

Tomster

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I wish we had more information on the particulars. I guess its all gee whizz how Ford produces the parts, but the end result is all I care about. Soon enough, soon enough.
 

OH3Cobra

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Printing parts as part of prototyping? I would think mass production much cheaper vs. this digital tech.
 

Epiphany

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I like to disassemble things.
Ford said:
The soon-to-be-revealed Shelby Mustang GT500, coming at the North American International Auto Show in January, has two 3D printed brake parts...
Would it have been that hard to give those that took the time to peruse the article even a rough idea as to which parts these might have been?

Printing parts as part of prototyping? I would think mass production much cheaper vs. this digital tech.
I agree.
 

Eritas

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Probably break rotors and callipers.
 

Epiphany

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It'll be a Brembo caliper. The rotors look to be very similar to that of the GT350 (from SHW) only larger in diameter. In both cases, those respective companies manufacture their own hardware. Calipers don't use a bracket for their radial mount as they attach directly to the knuckle.
 

9secondko

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Printing parts as part of prototyping? I would think mass production much cheaper vs. this digital tech.
Cheaper in some case. More expensive when everything doesn’t go perfectly.

Some gains to be realized from 3d printing are:

1) Fit and finish. 3d printing enables you to see your part right away and actually put it into place to see how it fits, flows with the design, connects In the “clockworks” etc.

2) freedom to alter or experiment with the design whether for form or function. When you have to cad something out and then create the molds and he prep for mass production, one of three things happens:

A) you nailed it and mass production goes smoothly.
B) there is a flaw or undesirable trait, so you scrap it, losing tons of time and money
C) you compromise and justify it and the end product has a design flaw however minor or major.

3) easy and fast changes to the part are made before mass production investment.

3d prototyping saves both time and money as outlined above. It adds a step. But that added step actually increases efficiency and results in a better product - both in form and function.
 

9secondko

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Cheaper in some case. More expensive when everything doesn’t go perfectly.

Some gains to be realized from 3d printing are:

1) Fit and finish. 3d printing enables you to see your part right away (relatively speaking. It takes time skill and detail to design the part in software) and actually put it into place to see how it fits, flows with the design, connects In the “clockworks” etc.

2) freedom to alter or experiment with the design whether for form or function. When you have to cad something out and then create the molds and he prep for mass production, one of three things happens:

A) you nailed it and mass production goes smoothly.
B) there is a flaw or undesirable trait, so you scrap it, losing tons of time and money
C) you compromise and justify it and the end product has a design flaw however minor or major.

3) easy and fast changes to the part are made before mass production investment.

3d prototyping saves both time and money as outlined above. It adds a step. But that added step actually increases efficiency and results in a better product - both in form and function.
 

Hack

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Would it have been that hard to give those that took the time to peruse the article even a rough idea as to which parts these might have been?
I agree 100%. At work we use 3D printers for some prototyping. We have the really cheap 3D printers that print layers of plastic.

I have to admit that based on the knowledge I have of 3D printing - a brake system part isn't the first thing I would choose to make that way, unless it's a bracket or something decorative.

It would be nice if the article would state more specific information. I would assume the part is 3D printed because that's the cheapest way to make it - or it just can't be made in another way. It would be fun to see images of some crazy part that can't be manufactured by traditional means. The first thing that occurs to me is that if it's so hush hush it might be an important part that would give away too much information about the car at this "early" date.
Makes a guy wonder if the car was delayed because of this. Hahah.
I guess it's possible - if this is a unique and important part of the braking system that makes the car special.
 

BmacIL

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3D printing has come a very long way in terms of creating viable parts, in addition to creating parts fast and designs that are otherwise difficult/impossible to manufacture.
 

NoXiDe

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I guess we're not buying the GT500 for it's level of safety. Who needs to stop, right?
 

BmacIL

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I guess we're not buying the GT500 for it's level of safety. Who needs to stop, right?
*insert old man yells at could meme*
 

TTown

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Will it also have an engine tick?
 

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