3D printing to protect expensive wheel rims from theft
Ford will offer the perfect protection of its wheel rims in the future with individual wheel nuts and wrenches printed in 3D. The trick: The shape of the wheel nut is based on the vehicle owner’s voice.20 Feb 2020 Roland Freist
Thieves often set their sights on expensive alloy rims. That is why the car manufacturer Ford is developing uniquely-shaped locking nuts together with EOS , a company specialized in 3D print based in Krailling near Munich. To manufacture the system, the Ford engineers record the vehicle’s owner saying a short sentence like “I drive a Ford Mustang” and turn it into a printable shape with software. It serves as a design template for a uniquely-shaped locking nut and a wrench that fits it. Both are produced by 3D printing on corrosion- and acid-resistant stainless steel.
The nuts cannot be removed without the custom wrench. And the nuts are shaped so that a thief cannot copy them with a wax imprint – the wax shape will crack when it is removed. It is also possible to use a logo, a specific geometric shape or the initials of the car owner to customize the nut instead of a voice pattern.
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