Jan 22, 2018 | By David

As 3D printing in the automotive industry gradually makes the move from rapid prototyping applications to final phase production, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S is the latest company to take advantage of what the technology has to offer. The French luxury manufacturer, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, has reached a significant milestone with the development of the world’s first 3D printed brake calliper. Bugatti has been collaborating with German 3D printing company Laser Zentrum Nord since the start of the year on the new titanium component, and vehicle trials for series production should start sometime in the next few months.

The new 3D printed brake calipers were made for the Bugatti Chiron, a high-end sports vehicle which is already known in part for having the most powerful brakes in the world. The Bugatti Chiron also uses an quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine, and the £2.5 million luxury vehicle can hit an impressive 62mph in 2.5 seconds, eventually reaching a top speed of 261mph. At the 67th annual IAA show in Frankfurt last year, the car broke a world record by going from a standing start to 400 km/h in just 42 seconds

Building on these previous successes, advanced 3D printing techniques were chosen for production of the new Chiron’s latest brake caliper model, in an effort to reduce weight from the previous structure. Titanium was used as opposed to aluminium, and the parts will be the largest brake calipers installed on a production vehicle, with eight titanium pistons on each of the front calipers and six on each of the rear units.

The new bionic design for the architecture results in a combination of minimum weight with maximum stiffness. Able to withstand 125kg of pressure per millimeter, the caliper weighs only 2.9 kg, whereas the aluminum component currently used weighs 4.9 kg.

According to Frank Gotzke, Head of New Technologies, Technical Development Department, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S, "In terms of volume, this is the largest functional component produced from titanium by additive manufacturing methods. Everyone who looks at the part is surprised at how light it is - despite its large size. Technically, this is an extremely impressive brake caliper, and it also looks great."

The concept for the new component was created by Bugatti engineers, before the design models were sent off to Laser Zentrum Nord for 3D printing. The Hamburg-based 3D printing expert carried out the process simulation, the design of the supporting structures, actual printing and the treatment of the component. The additively manufactured brake caliper is made from a monobloc of titanium, crafted using 400-watt lasers. Titanium powder was deposited in a total of 2,213 layers to produce the 3D part, which is heated to 700 degrees Celsius during a 3D printing process that lasts around 45 hours.

Total production time took around three months, including the initial design phase and the post-processing finishing touches, which were also carried out by Bugatti’s team once the 3D printed caliper was sent back.

This 3D printed caliper should be the first of many technologically advanced improvements to Bugatti’s range of vehicles. "Vehicle development is a never-ending process’’, said Gotzke. This is particularly true at Bugatti. In our continuing development efforts, we are always considering how new materials and processes can be used to make our current model even better and how future vehicles of our brand could be designed."



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Ken M wrote at 1/25/2018 4:01:32 PM:

Bugatti's are great and all, but NOTHING beats a good old fashioned horse and buggy.

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