Watch Bugatti stress test its 3D-printed brake caliper to hell and back
It might not be as pretty as HRE's 3D-printed wheel, but that caliper sure looks durable.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
The top speed of your average
is just a bit higher than the top speed of your average mass-market car. Thus, when the automaker wants to implement a part made with new technologies, it has to go through some serious testing.
Bugatti posted a video to parent company Volkswagen Group's YouTube page this week showcasing its bench testing for a new component. The piece in question is the brake caliper, which is responsible for pushing pad to rotor and bringing the car to a stop. Unlike previous Bugatti calipers, this titanium guy is made with 3D printing.
The video shows engineers spinning a brake rotor up to nearly 400 kilometers per hour (about 250 mph) and putting the calipers to work by bringing that rotor to a stop. That's a whole lot of physics at work, and you can see by the changing color of the rotor just how much stress is being put through the system. Brake temperatures can reach up to 1,000 degrees Celsius (about 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) during this kind of testing.
Similar to how HRE made its 3D-printed titanium wheel concept, Bugatti makes these calipers by melting titanium powder with four different lasers. It takes 2,313 layers and some 45 hours of work to make a single caliper. Like HRE's wheel, the functional bits like bolt holes are still created with a five-axis CNC machine. Bugatti estimates that its caliper is half the weight of calipers made by more traditional methods.
Take a look at how HRE made its 3D-printed titanium wheels