The World’s First 3D-Printed Titanium Wheel HRE3D+
Today marks the beginning of a new era in wheel manufacturing techniques! Introducing the all new, world’s first 3D-Printed Titanium Wheel, The HRE3D+ HRE Wheels and GE Additive announced a partnership agreement today and unveiled the first titanium wheel created using EBM technology (a type of 3D printing). Known as “HRE3D+”, this new prototype wheel shows what the future of wheel technology will bring and how advanced materials like titanium can be harnessed to create complex designs. The “HRE3D+” is the result of an intensive design collaboration between HRE Wheels and GE Additive. The two companies worked together to push the boundaries of what is possible to create the first 3D-printed titanium automotive wheel.
“This is an incredibly exciting and important project for us as we get a glimpse into what the future of wheel design holds.” – Alan Peltier, President of HRE Performance Wheels
State of the art manufacturing techniques
- Electron Beam Melting
Electron Beam Melting is an additive technology that uses an electron beam to melt and fuse fine layers of titanium powder into a solid. These fine layers are built up one at a time to create the full design.
- Titanium Powder Bed
The additive design is built up in a bed of fine titanium powder which results in very little wasted material, unlike traditional subtractive methods like machining from a solid forging.
- Powder Recovery
The excess titanium powder is removed to reveal the final design and recycled for future parts.
- Support Removal
Temporary internal support structures are printed along with the part to provide support to the structure and to facilitate extremely complex designs. These are removed by hand and recycled after printing.
- Post Machining
Mating surfaces and threads were CNC machined post-printing to ensure tight tolerances of assembly. Compared to traditional machining from forgings, this post-processing is minimal.
- Hand Finishing
The tops of the spokes were hand brushed to create a beautiful decorative finish. Because Titanium has excellent corrosion resistance, no additional powder-coat or clear-coat was necessary.
Due to the minimal machining and finishing, cleaning is a simple process simply to remove any oils or remaining powder.
All the parts were hand-assembled into a carbon-fiber rim barrel using titanium fasteners.
Why was the HRE3D+ made?
“This is an incredibly exciting and important project for us as we get a glimpse into what the future of wheel design holds,” said HRE President Alan Peltier. “Working with GE Additive’s AddWorks team gave us access to the latest additive technology and an amazing team of engineers, allowing us to push the boundaries of wheel design beyond anything possible with current methods. To HRE, this partnership with GE Additive moves us into the future.”
There was an intensive design collaboration between the Vista, California based team at HRE and the GE AddWorks team out of Ohio. Using design queues from two existing models of HRE wheels, the two companies worked together to create a stunning example of what is possible with additive manufacturing. The wheel was produced on two Arcam EBM machines – Q20 and a Q10 in five separate sections, then combined using a custom center section and bolted to a carbon fiber rim using titanium fasteners.
A few words from us…
Working as Autofuture Design’s editor, this is a very exciting look into the future of possibilities showcased by the partnership between HRE Performance Wheels & GE Additives! As a world first, this is just a concept as of now and when put into immediate production, this method of manufacture would cost a bomb. However, as we represent HRE Performance Wheels, the showcase of this design concept excites us for a the unpredictable future of possibilities! Time will tell and as these technological advancements begin to trickle down into a more affordable price range, we can feel nothing but excitement as we near the end of this decade awaiting anxiously on new technologies that HRE may extract from this technological showcase!
Established since 1997, Autofuture Design has established ourselves as a premium & genuine product distributor in the nation. We carry the an extensive catalog of products that we showcase available for fitment. Should you need aero parts, wheels or suspension systems we will do our absolute best to provide all available assistance to ensure that customers achieve the very best dynamic layout. Regardless of whatever requirements you need, we will get it done in the fastest and most efficient manner possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us at anytime for more info on the application of parts or drop by our showroom at anytime during our operating hours and we would be able to show you the products in person, as well as to provide you with better clarity on the products that we offer. Our experienced team will gladly answer all your questions and help you where needed with selecting the perfect parts for your car. As an official Sole Distributor for Vorsteiner, HRE Performance wheels, Bilstein Suspension and many other brands, we can get you exactly what you need to realize your vision of automotive perfection. We hope to see you soon in our showroom.
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