Jan 4, 2019 | By Thomas

BMW unveiled a unique project created by its Individual Manufaktur customization division in Garching, Germany called M850i "Night Sky." According to an official release, the bespoke car was made in the run-up to an exceptionally intense meteor shower expected to take place overnight from January 3-4, 2019 when the Earth briefly passes through the orbit of the asteroid 2003 EH. During the spectacle, fragments from the asteroid will enter our planet’s atmosphere and burn up. On rare occasions, small rocks in space penetrate Earth’s protective shield and fall to Earth as meteorites.

Why does that matter? As BMW mentions, some of these extra-terrestrial fragments have now been incorporated into the cabin of the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky.

The meteoritic rock adorns the whole of the center console’s trim plate, the start/stop button, the selector lever and the Touch Controller for the iDrive system, creating a unique visual and tactile effect. Inlays made from meteorite material have also been incorporated into the door sill finishers, together with an illuminated model badge.

For even more visual impact, the meteorite surfaces are finished according to a Widmanstätten pattern which was first observed back in the early 19th century by Austrian scientist Alois von Beckh Widmanstätten.

Inside, the leather trim comes in a tri-color design and LED-illuminated star constellations on the center console. The Widmanstätten structure is repeated in the stitching pattern for the seat center sections.

On the exterior, the Widmanstätten pattern can also be found on the exterior mirror caps, the front splitters for the side air intakes at the front of the car, the centre mesh plate and the surrounds for the Air Breathers on the front side panels. These exterior parts were all specially developed for the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky and individually manufactured using a 3D printing process.

Using its expertise in the application of 3D printing for aluminum components, BMW developed and manufactured the bionic-design brakes. When creating the brake callipers, it was possible to reduce their mass to the minimum required to meet technical requirements, meaning that only the material needed for the brakes to work is used. The resulting form, whose construction mimics that of bones – with an optimum balance between component rigidity and weight – can only be produced using an additive manufacturing method and not with conventional casting techniques. What is more, it was possible to incorporate the brake fluid channels into the structure of the brake calipers.

The exterior paintwork of the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky has a special paint finish which combines two color tones to achieve a high-impact effect. BMW started with black non-metallic paint as the base colour for the body before a second coat in San Marino Blue metallic was painted over it in a graduated effect from the bottom edge of the body up to the top of the wheel arches. Finally, three layers of clear coat with varying pigment particle sizes were applied to give the paint finish a remarkable sense of depth.

The M850i Night Sky is powered by the same potent 530-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engine. It includes an xDrive all-wheel-drive system and eight-speed Steptronic transmission. This 8 Series is a one-off, so you can't have one. But the standard M850i xDrive is currently available starting at $111,900.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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