Bugatti Just 3D-Printed the World’s Largest Titanium Brake Caliper
Is this the next technological breakthrough from the supercar giant?by Kirby, on
Bugatti is always at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. It may sound like the French automaker spares no expense at everything it does, but that’s because it actually goes to great lengths to find new ways of improving its cars. Those lengths now include using 3D printing, which, in Bugatti’s case, involves using the technology to create large titanium brake calipers that are actually lighter than the current aluminum calipers that are used on the Chiron hypercar.
According to Bugatti, each piece takes roughly 45 hours to print using the largest 3D printing machine of its kind in the world.
It’s not just these new 3D-printed titanium brake calipers are the largest of their kind that we’ve seen. It’s that they’re also the lightest of their kind that we’ve seen. That’s the kind of technological tour de force we can expect from a company like Bugatti. “Vehicle development is a never-ending process. This is particularly true at Bugatti,” Frank Götzke, Head of New Technologies in Bugatti’s Technical Development Department, said. “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.”
The creation of the 3D-printed titanium brake calipers didn’t come by accident. It was a result of months of testing with Bugatti’s partner, Laser Zentrum Nord, that included spending three months to develop the specific titanium components needed to make the calipers as big as they are. According to Bugatti, each piece takes roughly 45 hours to print using the largest 3D printing machine of its kind in the world. The machine itself features four lasers setting down an incredible 2,213 layers in each titanium piece. Once the finished product is complete, the calipers measure 16 inches long, 8.2 inches wide, and 5.3 inches high. Remarkably, they only weight 6.4 pounds per piece, more than four pounds lighter than the current — and smaller — aluminum calipers that are used on the Chiron.
Remarkably, they only weight 6.4 pounds per piece, more than four pounds lighter than the current — and smaller — aluminum calipers that are used on the Chiron.
Moving forward, Bugatti plans to use the new 3-D printed titanium brake calipers on future models. It’s already begun testing them so expect the automaker to make some headway in that regard. Should the tests turn out successful, we could see these brake calipers on an evolved version of the Chiron.
In a world where saving weight plays an important role in a supercar’s performance, don’t be surprised if future Bugattis that are equipped with these titanium brakes become the toast of the supercar world.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.
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