As security systems become increasingly sophisticated, thieves have chosen to steal car parts, including alloy wheels. A good anti-theft method consists of the use of lock nuts, one for each wheel, which require a special adapter or a wrench to loosen. However, even this system is not foolproof. For this reason, engineers from Ford have developed a unique locknut system using 3D printing.
In collaboration with EOS, leading providers in the XNUMXD printing industry, Ford has developed slotted lug nuts based on the sound waves emitted by the driver's voice. Like the iris or fingerprint, the voice can be used as a unique biometric identification of each person.
Expert engineers record the driver's voice for at least one second while the driver says something like, for example, “I drive a Ford Mustang " after which, the software converts sound waves into a printable design. Subsequently, it becomes a circular pattern and is adapted to form the notches of the nut and its corresponding security key.
Once the shapes match, the nut and wrench are designed in one piece and then 3D printed using a process that uses a solution of acid and anti-corrosive stainless steel. Upon completion, the nut and wrench separate and after a few minor adjustments are ready for use.
The design also includes a second level of security that avoids making copies of the nut. The notches, which are unevenly distributed and widened as they get deeper, prevent the thief from making a wax copy since it would break when unmolding.
In the case of not using the voice as a mold, the contours of the nuts could be designed for each car, such as a specific one for the Mustang logo, or the driver's initials could even be adapted. The design could also be inspired by the driver's interests, for example using the silhouette of a famous circuit.