The Ford Maverick is an important car for a lot of reasons. Its fuel economy, price, and utility are all impressive. However, two of us on The Drive’s staff—Rob Stumpf and myself—were much more interested in another one of the so-called tiny truck’s features when it was released: the “Ford Integrated Tether System,” or FITS slot. The slot allows anyone with a 3D printer to create accessories for their Maverick. In the spirit of competition, we’ve decided to turn this into a contest to see which of us can print the best one.
The FITS slot is, in its most basic definition, just a place to attach a gizmo. That sounds like nothing special, but it’s a feature no automaker has embraced as Ford has. Not only is the Blue Oval encouraging owners to design and 3D print accessories for their vehicles, but it’s also released 3D CAD files of the truck’s interior to help facilitate this process.
Ford already sells a few products for the FITS slot, and others online have come up with neat attachments as well. Rob and I like what we’ve been seeing, 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 do better than each other, too. We both have printers, we both have ideas, and we want to settle the debate of who can 3D print the better Maverick accessory. Thanks to some advocacy from our gracious Editor-In-Chief Kyle Cheromcha and a whole lot of generosity on Ford’s part, the Great Ford Maverick 3D Print-Off is actually going to happen on The Drive, and happen soon.
Starting on June 27, Rob and I will both be getting Mavericks in our driveways for two weeks. Once the cars are delivered, it’s game on to see who can develop the most useful—or entertaining—stuff. There will be two updates on our progress, a whole lot of content on social media, and a final wrap-up declaring a winner around the middle of July.
We both have a lot of ideas that we’re going to attempt to execute in that short timeframe; however, we want to hear from you, the reader. Even if you don’t have a Maverick, you might have an idea for something that we should make that might be useful in the truck.
Below are some constraints—or, rather, opportunities—that you should consider if you’re thinking of commenting an idea.
The first is that the FITS slot accessory doesn’t have to be a static, unpowered object. The slot itself is located right next to three power sources; a regular USB, a USB-C, and a full-fledged 120-volt 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. That places a series of restrictions on the parts like strength, size, and limited precision when it comes to tolerances. We also can’t spend multiple days printing a particularly complex part; two weeks may seem like a lot of time, but in terms of developing multiple working prototypes, it really isn’t.
Besides all of this, you should also know that there are multiple FITS slots (clearances viewable here) located under the rear seats of the Maverick which can also be used; two per side. I’m not sure what sort of utility these can provide yet, likely less than the center console slot, but they are there.
At the end of our competition—if we come up with anything useful—we will release the files and perhaps do a giveaway for some of the accessories that actually worked. So yes, not only can you suggest an idea, but if it’s a good one, you might just get it in the mail. As a disclaimer, though, I must say that even though Rob and I are well-versed in prototyping, these creations will still be prototypes and proofs of concept. They may only work for a limited time and they may only work so well. Just so you know what you’re getting if you do end up receiving something.
Until this whole excursion swings into motion though, feel free to comment any ideas below. If it’s a good one, well, you’ll probably see it mounted in a Maverick soon. Between now and the next update on our progress, there will be plenty of stuff on social media to see, too.