This new caliper is effectively the first of its kind in the world of automobiles.
Bugatti, the French carmaker associated with everything superlative, has used its engineering finesse to develop a 3D-printed brake caliper.
What’s even more interesting is that this caliper has been made from 3D-printing a titanium-aluminium-vanadium alloy, which is a lot harder to manipulate in a 3D printer as compared to the traditional polymers used in this technique. In fact, a single square millimetre of this alloy is capable of supporting 125kg.
Currently, the Bugatti Chiron uses the most powerful brakes in the world, which are forged from a block of high-strength aluminum alloy. However, the new 3D caliper is even bigger than the former, but still weighs nearly 2kg lesser - at 2.9kg per caliper.
Now, obviously you’d wonder why 3D printing though? Couldn’t this new caliper be made by traditional milling process? Not quite it seems, because Titanium - the main constituent of the alloy - is very strong. In fact, Bugatti engineers developed a way to lay fine layers of the alloy dust, melting each of the 2200 layers with 400-watt lasers - a process that takes 45 hours per caliper - because it’s still easier than milling titanium!
When this technology will make its way into production supercars isn’t known at this point. But since Bugatti has developed something so innovative, it is safe to assume that the company has big plans for its implementation.