2005-2006: In collaboration with Ford Motor Company, this student team designed a blow molded running board for Ford F-150 trucks. Blow molding is of particular interest as a manufacturing process for running boards as it offers the potential to reduce cost and decrease weight over the current injection molded boards. The project was initiated by a design team during the 2004-2005 Design Clinic and continued by this team.
This team reviewed their predecessor’s conceptual design and benchmarked current blow molded running boards. The team identified possible design modifications for the design and the bracket placement, modeled and analyzed different options under static and dynamic loading conditions, and refined the designs based on analysis results to achieve the weight, cost, and performance requirements.
The final deliverables to Ford Motor Company included a CAD model of a less expensive and lighter blow-molded running board design, accompanied by material and size specifications, a cost/benefit analysis, and a loading analysis. Pending Ford’s review, the design may be implemented in future F-150 truck models.