Pioneering 3D printing techniques help slash weight from this 1,500-horsepower beast.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

May 17, 2021

10 Slides

With its multi-million dollar technical showpiece cars, Bugatti is uniquely positioned to pioneer technologies that are cost-prohibitive for regular carmakers. One such example is the use of 3D printing to fabricate fantastically light and strong components that probably each cost as much as an ordinary Honda Civic.

Researcher Henrik Hoppe is aiming to prove some of his design concepts using the Bugatti Bolide, a race track-only derivative of the company’s flagship Chiron super sports car. Hoppe seeks to identify the commercial and technological potential of functional 3D-printed metal components for automotive manufacture, with applied targeting at specific parts. Previously, these types of components were used predominantly in the aerospace sector.

The goal is to optimize the design of 3D printed components using a complex, bone-like structure to enhance components with complex three-dimensional designs. The characteristics of the resulting parts include thin 0.4mm walls, a hollow interior, and fine branching.

“We will continue to reduce the weight of our cars while increasing their innovative features in every conceivable area,” explained Hoppe. The street-legal production Chiron features a metal 3D-printed water-carrying high-pressure pump console next to the transmission fluid reservoir.

Related:Magneti Marelli’s First-Ever Carbon Fiber Steering Knuckle Slashes Weight

About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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