Ford is letting people build their own cars, offering digital files so people can print 3D versions of their favorite models. This is way cooler than any old Matchbox or Hot Wheels toy.

Ford this week started offering printable files for the F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350R, Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Folks can order the 3D models in 1:32 scale in plastic (that'd make the mighty large pickup truck about eight inches long) but the digital files let users tweak the scale to the their liking. Once people have the digital files, they can print out their own miniature versions of the cars, made out of soft plastics, sandstone, and even some metals. Ford says it expects demand for such files to grow as sales numbers for desktop 3D printers surges to 1 million units in 2018. That's up from about 44,000 last year.

Ford already offers digital files for its company logo, the 1.0-liter engine block, and two older Mustang models. But these new models take this to a totally different scale. Check out Ford's press release below.

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PRINT YOUR FAVORITE FORD VEHICLE AT HOME: FORD FIRST AUTOMAKER TO OPEN ONE-STOP 3D SHOP ONLINE

- Consumers can now download digital images and 3D-printable files of Ford vehicles at the first-ever automaker-licensed, one-stop 3D shop online

- The Ford 3D Store offers printable files of F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350R, Focus ST and Fiesta ST; more models will become available later

- Online store is powered by TurboSquid.com, the leader in providing automotive digital imaging and 3D-printable files

Want to 3D-print a Shelby GT350R at home? Or would you prefer to simply purchase an F-150 Raptor 3D digital image for a presentation? How about both?

Ford fans can now download digital images for Ford vehicles at the first-ever, automaker-authorized one-stop online store for 3D-printable vehicle files. The Ford 3D Store, 3d.ford.com, allows customers to use advanced technology to make their own models of Ford vehicles of the size and material they desire, or simply opt to purchase a 3D digital file from a growing library of more than 1,000 Ford images.

"3D printing at home is a growing trend, and it makes sense for us to offer our customers a chance to make their own 3D Ford models," said Mark Bentley, licensing manager, Ford Global Brand Licensing. "At Ford, we're using 3D printing every day to rapidly prototype parts, and now we want to share that fun with our fans."

According to Juniper research, sales of desktop 3D printers will exceed 1 million units by 2018, from an estimated 44,000 sold annually in 2014.

Available 3D-printed Ford models include the new Ford GT, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350R, Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Printed models and digital files for additional Ford vehicles will be available at a later date.

3D-printed models available to order are 1/32nd scale in plastic, but purchasing a digital image allows users to have a Ford model 3D-printed to the scale and of the material they choose, either from their own printer or from an outside source. Professional 3D printers can create a model in materials ranging from soft plastics to sandstone and even various metals.

TurboSquid, a leader in marketing 3D image files commonly used in video games, built the new site for Ford and will provide order fulfillment.

"TurboSquid already allows customers to purchase more than 1,000 unique, licensed digital images of Ford products ranging from the Model T to the all-new Ford GT," said Bentley. "We're at the forefront of licensing 3D automotive images, and it made sense that TurboSquid help us complete that connection to the consumer."

When a buyer purchases a model or digital image, he or she must register with the site and agree that the item will not be used commercially.

Visit 3d.ford.com to see the available 3D digital images and 3D-printed models.


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