How would you like to get your hands on the all-new Ford GT before anyone else? Or the Ford F-150 Raptor, as driven by Jeremy Clarkson as he slowly made his way to rescue a stricken Richard Hammond in Canada. How about the 2016 Focus RS, to see if it has what it takes to beat the new Honda Civic Type-R?
Well Ford has the answer. Of sorts.
Ford uses 3D printing for prototyping new parts and is using the technology to produce scale models of its most popular vehicles. And who doesn’t love a scale model?
By visiting 3d.ford.com, you can order one of six model Fords, including the world’s best hot hatch – the Fiesta ST, along with the Focus ST, Focus RS, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT 350R and GT. The cost of each pre-printed model is $39 (£25), although if you happen to have a 3D printer of your own, you can download a .STL file for $4.99 (£3.20) and print it yourself.
The models are made from single-colour blue PLA/ABS plastic, with the exception of the Ford GT, which is made from limited edition full-colour sandstone. It comes with a unique Forza Motorsport 6 presentation box and a weightier price tag. At $230 (£148), this is one for the enthusiasts.
For now, only six cars are available, but more cars will be available in the future. How about some classic Fords? We’d very much like a 3D printed model of the Ford Capri RS3100, Escort Mexico and GT40. Although there’s currently no option to order a 1/32 scale model of such legends, there is a wider range of files available.
On the same website, Ford is showcasing its range of 3D models available for use in animation, visual effects and video games. Many cars from Ford’s back catalogue are available, including the MK1 Transit, RS200 and Probe. Warning: you could easily lose an hour searching through the list of cars.
Is this is a glimpse into the future of car production? In years to come, you could be ordering your own 3D printed family car and driving it to work.