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India-Ford is now producing F-250 elements from recycled 3D printer waste

(MENAFN – NewsBytes)

  • The American automaker Ford has teamed up with HP and three other companies to reuse used 3D printing raw materials such as powder and filaments. The new process converts the waste into material that is suitable for injection molding of plastic parts for vehicles.

    In what Ford calls an industry first, the company is using the new technique to mass-produce fuel line clips for its F-250 trucks.

  • In this article, 3D printing processes add material layer by layer to create components. Ford’s 3D printing waste cannot be used immediately for injection molding. HP worked with Lavergne to turn waste into pellets. Ford’s recycled material fuel line clips couldn’t possibly make this easier, adding the world’s largest HP 3D printer facility to the volume for Ford
  • Cost savings 3D printing processes add material layer by layer to create components
  • Ford said the parts made are 7% lighter and also cost 10% less.

    3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that adds material layer by layer to create parts instead of traditional subtractive methods of removing material. This means that less material is naturally wasted.

    However, waste still occurs in the form of faulty or defective prints, calibration prints, and spools for filaments.

  • Details Ford’s 3D printing waste cannot be used immediately for injection molding
  • Ford uses HP 3D printers in its Advanced Manufacturing Center to make prototypes, fixtures used by assembly line workers, and low volume commercial vehicle parts.

    The company’s 3D printing technologies require material inputs in a variety of physical forms such as powders, liquids, and filaments.

    However, pressure drops and the unused raw material cannot be immediately reused for injection molded fuel line clips.

  • Ford, HP No Waste, worked with Lavergne to turn waste into pellets
  • Injection molding requires material input in pellet form. This is where the resin manufacturer Lavergne comes into play.

    The company converts discarded powder and prints from Ford’s factories into pellets.

    These pellets are molded into fuel line clips by Ford supplier ARaymond, which are also used in the design, construction and manufacture of assembly systems.

    Ford has also partnered with SmileDirectClub, an oral care and medical technology platform.

  • Marketing gimmick? Ford’s fuel line clips, made from recycled material, couldn’t possibly be lighter
  • Ford claims to have achieved 7% weight savings on the 10-gram fuel line clips for a three-ton truck.

    However, automakers typically use ABS plastic, nylon, and polycarbonate for prototyping. These materials are denser than injection molded auto parts, which are generally made from PVC, polyurethane, and polypropylene.

    So when the denser recycled raw material is injection molded, the resulting parts cannot possibly be lighter.

  • All smiles The world’s largest HP 3D printer system complements the volume for Ford
  • SmileDirectClub also operates the world’s largest facility for HP 3D printing systems. The more than 60 printers produce more than 40,000 dental aligners every day.

    These used 3D printed parts are also collected and recycled to increase pellet production volume for Ford.

    While the new zero-waste approach is a small tweak, given the size of Ford’s operations, it could have a significant impact.

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