DETROIT—Ford has teamed up with Hewlett-Packard (HP) to turn spent 3D-printed powder and parts into stronger, lighter, and more cost-effective vehicle parts for Ford’s Super Duty F-250 trucks.
HP had already implemented practices that minimize the presence of disposed plastic and metal powders in landfills. But by working with Ford, the company says its 3D printing operations will be zero-waste. The partnership is also a step toward new industry and old industry working together toward sustainability.
Another company working toward 3D-printing sustainability is SmileDirectClub, which operates the largest facility of HP 3D printing systems in the U.S., and produces more than 40,000 dental aligners a day. The resulting used 3D printed parts are collected and sent to resin producer Lavergne, where the plastic molds are transformed into recycled plastic pellets for injection molding. Through this team effort, the same dental mold that straightened a teen’s teeth may very well end up in their first car.
Several automakers have come forward with plans to make their fleets 100 percent electric in the next 15 years, but Ford has taken it one step further, pledging to also achieve 100-percent-sustainable materials in all of its vehicles.