The first step in bringing a design to life is a sketch produced by the design team. Clay modellers then make a scale- and later full-size model of the vehicle to assess proportions and develop the design. In parallel, digital sculptors will create a model using computer-aided design (CAD). The two models are developed together, leveraging the strengths of both disciplines.
While some parts are worked in clay, more complex or detailed items are mostly developed digitally and often 3D printed – this is where the Rapid Prototype team, based at Ford’s European headquarters in Cologne, Germany, comes into play.
Laser Printing: specialist software “slices” CAD prototype parts into layers – thinner than the width of a piece of paper – to create a 3D printed prototype
Ford uses robust prototype parts in durability testing printed from materials including plastic, sand, and metal
The new Ford Mondeo Vignale's grille developed using 3D printing