The French car manufacturer Bugatti has undoubtedly imagined its lightest, fastest and most aggressive vehicle in its range: called Bolide, this sports car is a compendium of new technologies, focusing in particular on additive manufacturing to reduce the weight of its components. It would indeed weigh 1,240 kilos against the 1,996 kilos of its flagship model Chiron, while reaching a weight / power ratio of 0.67 kg per PS. For now, the hypercar would only be an experimental study but could well go beyond the project stage by demonstrating all the advantages of automotive additive manufacturing.
In January 2018, the French brand revealed a first brake caliper printed in 3D metal, in titanium more precisely. This first in the automotive sector had made it possible to reduce the total weight of the part by 2 kilos, a decrease of 40%. One year later, Bugatti renewed its confidence in 3D printing technologies by relying on the SLM Solutions process to build a spoiler mount but also an engine mount. Henrik Hoppe, PhD student at Bugatti, explains: “ Through the process known as selective laser melting, commonly referred to as 3D printing, it is possible to produce new hollow and ultra-complex components, stiffened from the inside, which are very light while being extremely rigid and strong. We are using these advantages for an increasing number of components in our hyper sports cars.. “
Bugatti Bolide, a compendium of new technologies
It is on the strength of this experience in additive manufacturing that Bugatti imagined this new sports vehicle; it indeed integrates many 3D printed parts, the final objective being to reduce its weight while maintaining high rigidity. If we look at the components designed additively, we can cite push rods only 100 grams; these have an internal support arch that gives them enough strength to withstand loads of up to 3.5 tonnes. It seems that topological optimization methods have been used in order to obtain a structure that can withstand pressures mainly concentrated in the center of the part.
Another part printed in 3D on the Bugatti Bolide: a mounting bracket for the front fender. Printed in titanium, this one is said to weigh just 600 grams, with an inner wall thickness of 0.7mm. According to the manufacturer, it could withstand an aerodynamic force of 800 kilos! If we stay on the fenders of the vehicle, the one at the rear would be connected to the central carbon fiber fin by another 3D printed titanium component. This joining element would be only 325 grams. Finally, we can cite the radial compressors mounted on the wheels which cool the brakes while reducing the lift at higher speeds. They would be made with a 3D printed titanium cup 0.48 millimeters thick.
Frank Götzke, Head of New Technologies at Bugatti, explains: “ As an experimental vehicle in the form of a racing car, the Bugatti Bolide is a demonstration of all of Bugatti’s technological expertise. Fans of the brand will also find these advanced technologies in other vehicles in the future.. It is the many technological advantages of the Bugatti Bolide that make it so special. This is what we continue to develop and work on, as Bugatti has distinguished itself with impressive innovations for over 100 years – and will continue to do so in the future. »It would seem that the manufacturer has not finished surprising us! In any case, you can find more information HERE.
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