Carbon and Ford partner to digitally manufacture new parts

By Catherine Sturman
Digital manufacturing company Carbon is set to partner with Ford in providing digitally manufactured polymer parts. The parts include Ford Focus HVAC (H...

Digital manufacturing company Carbon is set to partner with Ford in providing digitally manufactured polymer parts. The parts include Ford Focus HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Cooling) Lever Arm Service Parts, Ford F-150 Raptor Auxiliary Plugs for a niche market, and Ford Mustang GT500 Electric Parking Brake Brackets.

Presented at the Additive Manufacturing for Automotive Workshop at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the collaboration follows from the duo’s recent launch of its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Michigan.

Based in Silicon Valley, Carbon brings together innovations in hardware, software, and molecular science to deliver industry-leading digital manufacturing solutions. Utilising Carbon’s robust and reliable printers, proprietary Digital Light Synthesis technology and innovative EPX (epoxy) 82 material, such innovation will prove essential for such parts, and have passed Ford’s thorough performance standards and critical requirements, such as interior weathering; heat exposure; UV stability; fluid and chemical resistance; flammability (ISO 3795); and fogging (SAEJ1756).

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Ford Motor Company and are excited about the many opportunities to leverage the power of digital manufacturing to deliver durable, end-use parts with similar – or better – properties as injection moulded parts,” commented Dr Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-founder of Carbon. “The automotive industry shows significant promise for using digital fabrication at scale, and our work with Ford is a perfect example of the kind of innovation you can achieve when you design on the means of production.”

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Through partnerships with companies that also include adidas, Johnson & Johnson, and Vitamix, Carbon is moving beyond 3D printing to full-scale digital manufacturing by helping customers create break-through products across industry sectors, from automotive to healthcare to consumer goods.

Through its Digital Light Synthesis technology and broad family of programmable liquid resins, Carbon can work to support manufacturers unlock new business opportunities, such as mass customisation, on-demand inventory, and intricate product designs. The company has also worked with transportation company Proterra, implementing additive manufacturing technology to support customers across the US.

The automotive is ramping up its investment in new innovative technologies to further support growing demands on a global scale. From artificial intelligence, automation and predictive analytics, Ford has also now also entered a blockchain pilot to trace cobalt, used in lithium-ion batteries in the development of electric cars. The pilot will involve a mine in the Congo, where decentralised ledger technology will work to eliminate any form of unethical practices and ensure all suppliers remain compliant across its supply chain activities.  

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