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WhiteClouds celebrates the Ford Model T's 100th birthday with a 3D printed version of the iconic car

When Ford created the moving assembly line in 1913, it revolutionised mass production. Now, a hundred years later... well, we don't need to tell you what technology is set to revolutionise mass production all over again, do we? You're reading a 3D printing blog, after all.

To celebrate the centennial of the Ford Model T car, 3D printing company White Clouds have created a 3D printed model of the car.

It's not life-sized - it's printed on a 1:20 scale - and the designers had to rely on photographs of the car rather than any more detailed schematics. Still, their model looks pretty impressive. It was printed on a Connex 500 3D printer, using seven different materials - the whole job took 16 hours.

Print your own Ford Mustang

Just last week we reported that Ford was using a MakerBot to model prototype car parts - and now, it seems, the car company has also joined Thingiverse!

Four designs have already been added to the company's Thingiverse profile: a 3D logo, a scale model of a 1970s Ford Mustang, a model of a more modern Mustang, and a model of a Ford engine block. The files to print the models have already been downloaded hundreds of times, and Ford has also uploaded images of the finished printed objects to the gallery.

It's fascinating, really, to see a company engaging so completely with a new technology and with the online community that's sprung up around it. It's a hell of a lot more appropriate to the brand that starting a Pinterest account or jumping on any of the other zillion social networking bandwagons (although, we're afraid to look - does Ford have a Pinterest account?). By uploading cool-looking models like the Mustangs, Ford can generate an awful lot of goodwill from a very specific market, which is pretty smart...

Check out Ford's Thingiverse account here.

Ford uses a MakerBot printer to make prototype car parts

We know - another video post, and it's not even the end of term! We didn't think you'd want to miss this one, though: it shows how Ford's research and development department is using MakerBot 3D printers to quickly create and test prototypes of new parts. It's interesting that not only is Ford using 3D printing as a prototyping method, but the company is also using a readily available, affordable printer to do it - and it's willing to talk about that online. 3D printing is clearly useful, but could it also be that companies think it's cool?