Remember those halcyon days of model car building? Carefully popping those plastic pieces apart before piecing them together? The smell of the paint fumes and the pride of finding a spot on the shelf?
While scale model cars might not be as popular as they once were, Ford is—knowingly or not—providing us with a bit of nostalgia in a very high-tech way.
Through the automaker’s new Ford 3D Store, you can buy models and 3D printable files of several of the company’s most popular cars and trucks, including the F-150 Raptor, the new GT, the Shelby GT350R and more.
If you don’t have a 3D printer handy (like just about everyone), Ford will print one for you at 1/32nd scale for $39. However, if you purchase the $5 printable file from its store and can track down a printer or a friend with one, you can create an F-150 Raptor model at the scale of your choosing.
And Ford notes that 3D printers can create the model in plastics, sandstone and various metals.
As you can see above, the results of the printing are a bit bland though, so we’d recommend a trip to the hobby store for some paint to spruce everything up.
But this whole thing might point to something much bigger than just a hobby. Ford licensing manager Mark Bentley provided a pretty interesting quote in the company’s release on the 3D Store.
“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,” Bentley said. “At Ford, we’re using 3D printing every day to rapidly prototype parts, and now we want to share that fun with our fans.”
One day you might even be able to purchase 3D files online and then print out replacement parts for your car or truck. That’s something our younger selves, content with the thrill of our first Mustang, though plastic and 1/32 scale, could have never imagined.