The Ford Maverick is an important car for many reasons. Fuel economy, price and utility are all impressive. However, the two of us in DriveThe staff—Rob Stumpf and myself—were much more interested in one of the other features of the small truck when it was released: the “Ford Integrated Tether System”, or FITS slot. This slot allows anyone with a 3D printer to create accessories for their Maverick. In the spirit of competition, we decided to turn this into a contest to see which of us can score the best.
A FITS slot, in its most basic definition, is simply a place to attach tools. It doesn’t sound like anything special, but it’s a feature automakers don’t have like Ford has. Blue Oval not only encourages owners to design and 3D print accessories for their vehicles, but also releases 3D CAD files of truck interiors to help facilitate this process.
Ford has sold some products for the FITS slot, and others online have also come with neat attachments. Rob and I like what we’ve seen, but we also think we can do better.
[Welcome to The Drive‘s Great Ford Maverick 3D Print-Off. Peter Holderith and Rob Stumpf are in a competition to see who can 3D print the best accessory for the truck. We’ll announce a winner in mid-July, but for now, follow along with their progress on The Drive‘s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts with #maverick3dprintoff. Happy printing!]
Actually, we think we can also do better than each other. We both have printers, we both have ideas, and we want to settle the debate about who can 3D print Maverick accessories better. Thanks to some advocacy from our friendly Editor-in-Chief Kyle Cheromcha and a lot of generosity on Ford’s part, the Great Ford Maverick 3D Print will actually happen in Driveand it happened right away.
Starting June 27th, Rob and I will be bringing the Mavericks in our driveway for two weeks. Once the cars are delivered, the game resumes to see who can develop the most useful—or entertaining—things. There will be two updates on our progress, lots of content on social media, and a final finish declaring the winner sometime in mid-July.
We both have a lot of ideas that we will try to execute in a short period of time; however, we want to hear from you, the reader. Even if you don’t own a Maverick, you might have an idea for something we should make that might come in handy on the truck.
Below are some of the obstacles—or, to be more precise, opportunity—which you should consider if you’re thinking about commenting on an idea.
The first is that the FITS slot accessory doesn’t have to be a powerless static object. The slot itself is located right next to the three resources; Regular USB, USB-C, and a 120-volt power outlet capable of providing up to 400 watts. That means electric power for this accessory, whatever it is, is definitely an option.
The second is that the accessory itself must be 3D printed. It places a series of limitations on parts such as strength, size, and limited precision in terms of tolerances. Nor can we spend several days printing a very complex piece; two weeks may seem like a lot of time, but when it comes to developing some working prototypes, it really isn’t.
Apart from all of this, you should also know that there are several FITS slots (loose can be seen here) located under the Maverick’s back seat which can also be used; two per side. I’m not sure what kind of utility these can provide yet, likely less than a center console slot, but they’re there.
At the end of the competition—if we find something useful—we’ll release the files and maybe give away prizes for some accessories that actually work. So yes, not only can you suggest an idea, but if it’s a good one, you might as well send it in the mail. However, as a disclaimer, I must say that even if Rob and I are experienced in prototyping, this creation will remain a prototype and a proof of concept. They may only work for a limited time and they may only work well. Just so you know what you get if you To do finally received something.
Until this whole journey goes, feel free to comment on any ideas below. If it’s any good, you’ll probably see it installed in Maverick soon. Between now and the next update on our progress, there will be a lot on social media to see as well.
Have an idea for us? Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org