French luxury brand Bugatti, part of the Volkswagen group, has recently released a video where it is shown to be testing the 3D printed titanium brake calliper. Claimed to be the first of its kind in the world, the main material used for the additive production of vehicle components is made from aluminium. It was revealed in January this year.
Developed in cooperation with Laser Zentrum Nord of Hamburg, this is a lighthouse function for 3D printing within the Volkswagen Group. The calliper that weighs 2.9 kg is 41 cm long, 21 cm wide and 13.6 cm tall. It is 40 percent lighter than its aluminium alloy equivalent (4.9 kg).
The video clearly shows that the calliper is able to sustain speeds of 350 kph and temperatures of over 800 degree Celsius. The video has also revealed the lightweight design that also serves to be robust enough to sustain such brute force. Towards the end of the video, we can see the calliper suffering from some minor discolourations due to all the heat it dissipated.
Volkswagen will be adopting 3D printing to mass produce car parts as it considerably shortens production times, especially for machining.