Bugatti, the European supercar manufacturer, has succeeded in designing a titanium brake caliper that can be produced by 3D printing.
The current brake calipers used by Bugatti on its Chiron model were an entirely new development forged from a block of high-strength aluminium alloy. They use eight titanium pistons on each of the front calipers and six on each of the rear units to make them the worlds most powerful automotive brake, and they are also the largest brake calipers currently installed on a production vehicle.
Vehicle trials for the use of the 3D titanium brake caliper in series production are to start in the first half of the year.
The newly-developed, 3D printed caliper is built from a titanium alloy of Ti6AI4V, mainly used in the aerospace industry. Bugatti says the material offers considerably higher performance than aluminium. It has a tensile strength of 1,250 N/mm2 when 3D printed. The titanium caliper weighs only 2.9 kg, a reduction in weight of about 40% compared with the current aluminium component.
The calipers development by Bugatti means the company is producing the worlds largest functional component produced from titanium using additive manufacturing processes. This milestone in the development of 3D printing was reached in cooperation with Laser Zentrum Nord of Hamburg, an institute that forms part of the Fraunhofer research organization.