Bugatti has revealed that its engineers have used the technology of 3D printing to create a new brake caliper from titanium.
The French brand says its eight-piston monobloc caliper – which measures a whopping 410 mm long, 210 mm wide and 136 mm high – is the world’s first brake caliper to be produced by 3D printing. But, despite its considerable size, each caliper weighs just 2,9 kg, which is some 2 kg lighter than the aluminium version currently used in the Chiron.
Bugatti furthermore says that the new titanium caliper – which was developed with the help of Hamburg-based firm Laser Zentrum Nord – has a tensile strength of 1,250 N/mm2, offering “considerably higher performance” than aluminium.
Of course, brake calipers have not been fashioned from titanium before simply because it is extremely difficult to mill or forge components from block of this high-strength material. But the new 3D-printing process – which uses aerospace-grade titanium with the scientific designation of Ti6AI4V – changes that.
Interestingly, the printing time for one caliper is some 45 hours, with titanium powder applied in as many as 2 213 layers. Bugatti says the first trials for use in production vehicles are due to be held in the first half of 2018, with an aim of “considerably” shortening production times.