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Hagerty Employee

Ford embraces open-source 3D printing while Honda Europe appears to crack down

When 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) was first introduced, the automotive industry embraced it. At first, the primary application was to facilitate rapid prototyping. Later came short runs of production and replacement parts for limited-edition vehicles; Porsche, for example, uses laser-sintered powder deposition to make hard metal parts, that are no longer otherwise available, for the 959 supercar.
Intermediate Driver

I think that Honda is being very short-sighted in not supporting the 3D movement, and it may possibly turn around and bite them in the backside. I believe that the enthusiasts that are "out there" will be making parts that are better designed and more useful than Honda would produce, and they will lose $$ that they could have saved if they had only gone along with the new tech.

Thanks for this fascinating foray into the future of DIY car culture. However, just as in 3D printing, so too in grammar and punctuation, the key to everything is precision. For instance, is the sentence “Porsche, for example, uses laser-sintered powder deposition to make hard metal parts, that are no longer otherwise available, for the 959 supercar.” actually meant to convey the idea that NO hard metal parts AT ALL are now available from Porsche for the 959? Punctuated as it is, that is what it means (restrictive clause between commas). If the idea is that Porsche will print such parts as are no longer available, just remove the commas after ‘parts’ and ‘available’.


It's been my experience that both Japan and Europe (Germany) are very tight when it comes to sharing.
Sharing is definitely not caring.
Try and get a chipped key for a Mercedes without going through the dealership.

Boo on Hon-duh of Europe for being so against the 3D printed parts. I get protecting trademarks but I have to ask do they have the parts available and at a reasonable price at dealers?

This will become a fascinating legal issue as manufacturers in all industries begin to use additive manufacturing (It's so tempting to call it addictive manufacturing!), and consumer gear rivals commercial equipment. How will authenticity be verified for warranty purposes? Or liability? It's a new frontier.

The thing is...

Ford is letting you make and share a bunch of parts they don't want to be bothered to produce to accessorize a vehicle to your tastes.

They are not letting you make your own replacement parts.

Whatever the rules are for a generic parts company to make rad caps, etc. should still apply in the 3D-verse.

Now maybe those rules need to be looked at... if you haven't produced the part in 10 years your patent expires or something? How long should a rad cap design be copyrightable anyways --isn't the restocking rule in the USA "parts to maintain the vehicle for ten years?" So maybe after 11 years it should be open source?

Who is starting to embrace 3D printing? Fans of the orphan car brands. Scan up those Studebaker parts and help each other out.

Patten Rights
need to observed

A small step, but I still congratulate Ford.