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American automaker Ford Motor Company has revealed the use of 3D printing in generating the high performance of its new vehicle, the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500.
Virtual testing over 500 designs in supercomputers utilizing additive manufacturing prototyping tools, a team of Ford designers and engineers set out to make the “most advanced performance street-legal Mustang of all time”. The 3D prototyping systems are located at its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Michigan, where the company also 3D printed the parts for the GT500. The vehicle will be released in fall 2019.
Designs - Engineering - Teams - Strategies - Prototype
“We created and studied designs among the engineering teams and proved out different strategies long before we built our first prototype cars,” explained Matt Titus, Ford Performance vehicle engineer.
“NOT ONLY DID THIS IMPROVE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE DESIGNS, IT DRAMATICALLY REDUCED THE TIME IT TOOK TO DEVELOP THE GT500 – AND THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THAT.”
Shelby - Mustang - GT500 - Testing - Supercomputers
The 2020 Shelby Mustang GT500 was developed with virtual testing in supercomputers and 3D printing. Image via Ford.
As well as its Advanced Manufacturing Center, the team at Ford also utilized the Ford Performance technical center in Concord, North Carolina to analyse designs for 3D cooling and aerodynamics in the Mustang Shelby GT500. The vast number of designs allowed the team to reach its downforce, braking and cooling targets and maximize the aero performance of the vehicle. The designs with the most potential were 3D printed in a matter of days, speeding development time compared to traditional manufacturing processes. For example, the team 3D printed and tested over 10 designs for the front splitter wickers, and simultaneously tested them for track variation, increasing the efficiency of the design testing process.
Validation - Designs - Ford - Wind - Tunnels
Physical validation of the designs were carried out in Ford’s wind tunnels in Michigan and Windshear rolling wind tunnel in Concord. Further tests for the GT500 were undertaken...
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