Mustang Shelby GT500 to include two 3D-printed brake parts

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The car manufacturer showed its 135,000 square meter Advanced Manufacturing Center, where approximately 100 employees use augmented and virtual reality, robotics, digital production and 3D printing to sharpen Ford's vehicle manufacturing processes

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DETROIT – The upcoming Mustang Shelby GT500 from Ford Motor Co., which will be announced next month at the Detroit Auto Show, will be made with two 3D-printed brake parts from a new production center near Detroit.

The automaker Tuesday showed its 135,000-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing Center, where approximately 100 employees use augmented and virtual reality, robotics, digital production and 3D printing to sharpen Ford's vehicle manufacturing processes. Ford invested $ 45 million in the center, while CEO Jim Hackett is leading a company-wide restructuring that emphasizes faster product development.

"More than 100 years ago, Ford created the moving assembly line that forever changed how vehicles would be mass-produced," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global operations. "Today we are inventing the assembly line of tomorrow – tapping technologies that we have ever dreamed of on the big screen – to improve our production efficiency and quality."

The center includes 23 3D printers and works together with 10 3D production companies. An undisclosed use of technology can save the automaker more than $ 2 million, Ford says.

The center is also home to improved technology that Ford employees use to complement traditional design or production techniques. The technology enables Ford employees from around the world to use augmented reality headsets and work at the same time.

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Ford said it was collaborative robots or "cobots". used in addition to employees working on a conveyor belt. Ford uses the robots in 24 of its factories worldwide to speed up work and facilitate physically demanding tasks for human workers.

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