The Ford Maverick’s forward-thinking approach to usability and affordability is what earned it top marks in our 2022 Best Of awards, and one of the noteworthy claims was that Ford said those with 3D printers could make and print accessories (holders and mounts) using the Maverick’s Ford Integrate Tether System. FITS is basically a slot receiver in the cabin used to mount various accessories, and rather than simply sell a kit for those slots, which Ford does for $50, it also released the 3D geometry of the slot’s dimensions so the 3D printing community could affix various accessories via the slot.
But if you have a Maverick and don’t have a 3D printer, are you left out of the fun? Not necessarily.
We own a Maverick, but none of our editors in Chicagoland own a 3D printer, so we turned to public libraries in the area that offer 3D printing services where you can send a 3D file and, for a fee, print the design. In my library’s case, I could choose from multiple colors and it’d turn it around in a few days from their MakerBot Replicator 2 printer. For the 3D file, we browsed through the user-uploaded designs available at Thingiverse.com through items such as a tissue box holder, cupholder, phone mount, hand sanitizer bottle mount and more.
First up: a tissue box holder. It’s peak allergy season here, with high pollen counts — and now thinking about it, perhaps a hand sanitizer bottle holder should be next because we share this truck among various drivers.
Getting the file to the library was as simple as downloading the 3D object file in its “.stl” format from Thingiverse and uploading it to the library’s request-for-printing form where I chose a color and how much we were willing to spend. The intake form didn’t provide a cost estimate because price can vary by design, size and printing specifics, but I did enter a “maximum cost” field. After a couple of days, it was time to pick up the print at the library for a cost of $5; while optional, I also tipped the file creator for the design.
After picking up the print, the tissue box holder needed excess printing plastic removed, which seems normal — but be advised you’ll have to do this yourself, and once I cleaned it up with a sharp edge, the print did exactly as advertised: It secured into the FITS slot and held a smaller box-shaped tissue box (measuring 5 and one-eighths-inches tall) on the backside of the center console. The color blue we picked wasn’t a great match for Blue-Oval Ford blue, but, hey, what do you expect for $5 and having someone else do the work?
All in all, the FITS system and ability for users to create designs plays out as innovative as it sounded when announced. We’ll take a run at printing one of these accessories at home when we get the Maverick into an editor’s hands who does have a 3D printer; until then, we’ll keep scouring forums and user-generated designs for interesting Maverick accessories to 3D print.