Porsche and Bugatti use 3D printing to create rare and complex details
3D printing has become “adult” a few years ago. Technology (or rather, a combination of technologies) has long gone out of its childhood state, turning into a large-scale industry, the achievements of which are used everywhere, from private workshops to automobile and aerospace enterprises. There is even a 3D printer on the ISS, where they make the necessary astronauts' tools and spare parts.
Automobile companies were among the first to work with 3D printing, both plastic and metal. Earlier companies, startups such as Divergent 3D or Local Motors announced themselves. They were either creating cars, almost all of the details of which were printed, or they created spare parts for existing cars so that they would not have to look for them and spend additional funds. The other day it became It is known that 3D printing is already used by such companies as Bugatti, Porsche and others.
As for Bugatti, the company is working with 3D printing technology to create some elements of the Chiron supercar. Of course, here under 3D printing we mean the creation of metal parts made, for example, of aluminum alloy. One of the parts, which is made by the traditional method, has a mass of 4.9 kg. A printed similar element is much lighter and weighs only 2.9 kg. Moreover, such an element is much more durable.
Bugatti has partnered with Laser Zentrum Nord, with headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Hamburg, Germany. This company carries out a large number of orders for, mainly, representatives of the aerospace industry, so Laser Zentrum Nord specialists can boast of vast experience in the process of creating elements of aircraft, where aerodynamics dictates its own rules.
Well, since Bugatti cars are positioned mainly as ultrafast (and, of course, elite) ground vehicles, the aerodynamics and strength characteristics of the elements are extremely important. The company can offer the creation of parts for cars or aircraft of almost any complexity.
True, now Bugatti is testing the possibility of creating an element for Chiron, which is not intended for speed gain, but, on the contrary, for braking. Namely - the brake caliper, which the partner of the company learned to create using 3D printing. The Chiron car costs $ 2.9 million, so no one wants something to go wrong. According to representatives of Bugatti, they did not believe their eyes when the first titanium caliper was removed from the machine. “Speaking of size, this is the largest functional element created from titanium by 3D printing. Everyone who saw and lifted the brake caliper coming out of the Laser Zentrum Nord was surprised not only by the size of the part, but also by its small weight compared to the original part, ”representatives of Bugatti tell about their impressions.
In addition, the company begins to test the creation of wipers with a length of 63 cm through 3D printing. Parts made in this way are stronger than the original and almost twice as light.
The German company has been creating cars for nearly 70 years. During this time, she managed to master a lot of the latest technologies. The process of studying and implementing such technologies never stops. And now Porsche is working on introducing 3D printing into production.
We are talking about laser sintering of metal powder, which is a type of 3D printing. In particular, Porsche is launching the production of spare parts for old car models, parts for which it is very difficult to get, if at all possible.
One of the models whose owners will have the opportunity to purchase a replacement part for replacement is the Porsche 959. For this and other cars, they will establish a production line that will produce nine different components, which are almost impossible to get.
In the case of Porsche, collaboration has been established with Markforged Composites. The car manufacturer not only signed a cooperation agreement, but also invested considerable funds in a partner company (the exact amount is not reported). Porsche's subsidiary, Volkswagen, will also use 3D printing to make parts for its cars.
For Porsche, setting up production of rare parts for their cars is an important task. The fact is that many models came off the assembly lines in small batches of several hundred copies. It is clear that neither the company itself, nor third-party participants in the automotive parts market are interested in providing an entire production line for the manufacture of parts that will be sold in units per year. Well, 3D printing removes the problem, allowing for unit production.