PPAP for Automotive: Qualifying Additive Manufacturing for Real-World Production. Webinar June 6th
USA & Canada
USA & Canada
Ford Roush Stratasys Direct
Case Study

Roush Saves 35% in Costs and Meets Delivery Schedule with 3D Printing from Stratasys Direct

April 27, 2023
Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

Roush Performance Products is an American automotive company that develops and manufactures high-performance components for street and competitive racing applications. The company develops a wide range of vehicles for customers, from Ford F150s to Mustangs.

Camera Mounting Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

The Challenge

Due to an issue with the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), a late-stage design change became necessary for the front grill camera on the Roush F-150 pick-up truck. To address the problem, Roush needed to either redesign the grille or redesign the camera mount.

Luke MacInnes Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

On the F150 project, we had a late issue that we had to quickly pivot on. We had to reposition the front cameras on the trucks and in doing so, we prototyped a design that actually became the production solution for the program.

Roush’s traditional approach to this issue would have been to create an injection-molded tool, adding up to an additional 16 weeks, plus time for testing, painting, and assembly trials. However, with trucks already in the facility waiting to be built, Roush needed a faster solution and approached Stratasys. 

Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

Roush Turns to Stratasys

Roush needed the camera mounts to be dimensionally accurate, high-impact resistant, and ductile so they could be mounted with multiple parts together. Stratasys recommended using PA11 material using Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF™) technology on the H350 printer. Designed specifically for production projects, SAF is a powder bed fusion technology that provides enough throughput to make several thousand parts for the entire production run of F-150 vehicles.

After prototyping a new design using SAF, Roush engineers discovered the parts performed exceptionally well during rigorous testing, were more effective than injection molding, and could be produced with a much faster turnaround. 

Luke MacInnes Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

We’ve done a lot of durability testing, and it’s been able to handle everything we’ve been able to throw at it.

Multiple 3d printed camera mounts Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

Roush Contracts Stratasys Direct for Production

With a newly designed camera mount in hand, Roush still faced the challenge of manufacturing enough components to equip an entire fleet of F150 trucks. Although Roush had been using 3D printing for several years, they had never utilized additive manufacturing for end-use parts. Until recently, 3D-printed parts for automotive companies focused primarily on low-volume components – jigs, fixtures, tooling, and other prototypes. With the introduction of SAF technology, a production solution was available to manufacture end-use components quickly, efficiently, and affordably.

As a high-performance Original Equipment Manufacturer (IEM) Roush had rigorous testing and quality requirements that every part had to meet. Roush needed to ensure their components would be consistent, repeatable, and meet PPAP standards. Stratasys Direct delivered on that challenge.

Chad Anderson Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

They are doing about 50 per week. The savings are not just with time. It was with money because obviously, we didn’t have to pay to update any injection molding tools. The beauty of SAF technology on the H350 is that we can nest a lot of the components in the same build.

Multiple 3d printed camera mount  Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

Since the beginning of the project, Stratasys Direct has manufactured more than 850 components for Roush, with more scheduled for production through the end of the year. By the end of 2023, Stratasys Direct will have fabricated approximately 1500 3D-printed parts for the automaker. 

The Growing Need for PPAP Expertise 

Roush’s requirement for Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)-certified parts was not new. As a leader in advanced manufacturing solutions, Stratasys has been producing additively manufactured parts for automakers for decades. However, in recent years, Stratasys Direct has seen a significant increase in PPAP parts. 

Just two years ago, 3D printed projects for automotive mainly consisted of prototypes, jigs and fixtures, and other low-volume projects. But as AM for production projects has gained more validation and acceptance, Stratasys Direct has received numerous requests in the past year.

A standard in the industry, PPAP is a standard automotive companies use to establish confidence in suppliers that their manufacturing process meets quality requirements and standards. PPAP ensures parts conform to customer requirements; provides evidence of process stability; controls product and process changes; and documents that the manufacturer is adhering to a control plan and approval process. 

PPAP Process Stratasys Direct
Chad Anderson Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

Stratasys Direct is fulfilling all of our production orders, as well as our initial PPAP requirements for our quality needs. It (PPAP) makes sure that all of our parts are consistently accurate to our design, so it was great to incorporate Stratasys Direct into our production process.

Stratasys Direct Delivers PPAP-Approved Parts 

Stratasys Direct collaborated with Roush to deliver camera mounts that met the highest standards of quality and reliability. To ensure compliance with the meticulous Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) required for commercial vehicles, Stratasys Direct not only manufactured durable and long-lasting parts, but also prepared a comprehensive package of documentation that outlined the entire manufacturing workflow.

As part of its robust quality management system, Stratasys Direct created controlled work instructions that ensured reliable human input. Using the Stratasys H350 printer’s multipage build report capabilities, manufacturing engineers validated each build for repeatable printing configurations in critical parameters, such as bed temperature, scaling factors, and nesting densities. The entire manufacturing process was reviewed using Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA) to identify potential risks and control methods. 

This comprehensive approach was synthesized into a control plan that mapped how quality would be ensured at every step of the process. Stratasys Direct then verified that the defined workflow was correctly executed and that the final components met all the requirements. The camera mount and cover were 3D-scanned, and a full-dimensional report of each geometry was provided along with a final group of documents outlining and validating each step of the manufacturing workflow to Roush.

After reviewing the data package, Roush approved Stratasys Direct for the production of the components. Once in full production, a simplified quality process was implemented to ensure part success without over-inspection.


Luke MacInnes Ford Roush Stratasys Direct

We were able to greatly reduce our time to market by going with this manufacturing method. We were able to take a 3-4 month project and get it down in about 8 weeks.

Ford roush cost savings using 3d printing with Stratasys Direct

3D Printing – A Major Win for Roush

By 3D printing the camera mount, Roush was able to achieve a significant reduction in cycle time – by at least 50% compared to injection molding. This allowed Roush to meet its production schedule and fulfill its commitment to customers, avoiding the typical three to four-month wait and a $30K expense of injection molding. 

In addition, by using additive manufacturing technology, Roush was able to create a better design with greater performance and efficiency. With the help of Stratasys Direct’s huge production capacity, automotive expertise, and manufacturing experience, Roush was able to meet its production schedule, save money, and stay competitive in the market.


Sign up for our webinar - PPAP for Automotive: Qualifying Additive Manufacturing for Real-World Production

Watch Webinar

General questions? Engineering questions? Need help with your design?

Contact us

Related Content