Ford and HP team up to turn 3D printer waste into recycled materials for cars

April 28, 2021

Photo credit Getty Images


Ford and Hewlett-Packard (HP) are joining forces to break ground in the auto industry by turning 3D printer waste into new vehicle parts.

The cutting-edge innovation transforms unwanted materials, like powders and unusable printer items, into injection molded car parts, which are set to be installed first on Ford's Super Duty F-250 trucks, Environment and Energy Leader reported.

“We’re the first company to find a high-value application for waste powder that likely would have gone to landfill, transforming it into functional and durable auto parts,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford technical fellow in sustainability.

The recycled parts have better chemical and moisture resistance than conventional versions, and are 7% lighter and cost 10% less, according to the outlet. Ford plans to use HP’s printing technology at the company’s Advanced Manufacturing Center to ensure zero waste in the process.

“You get more sustainable manufacturing processes with 3D,” added Ellen Jackowski, chief sustainability and social impact officer at HP.

Jackowski said the partnership with Ford extends the environmental benefits of 3D printing even further, bringing entirely different industries together to make better use of spent manufacturing materials.

Other companies in involved in the project include the teeth-straightening company SmileDirectClub, which operates the largest facility of HP 3D printing systems in the US. The company is currently collecting and recycling used 3D printed parts to increase the volume for Ford.

Last year, Ford announced a goal to achieve 100% sustainable materials in its vehicles by 2050.

For more ideas on how you can save the planet, visit 1Thing.

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