HRE Wheels together with GE Additive has just unveiled the world’s first ever 3D-printed titanium wheels. Codenamed HRE3D+, the prototype gives us a glimpse of what the future of wheel designs can be with 3D printing technology.
Using Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology (a type of 3D printing), it allows complex wheel designs to come to reality while achieving high levels of efficiency. In the case of a traditional monoblock wheel, 80 per cent of the material is shaved and removed from a forged block of aluminium to create the final project. With EBM, only 5 per cent of the material is removed and recycled, making the process far more efficient.
In the case of the HRE3D+ wheels, measuring 21-inch x 9J and 21-inch x 12.5J, its complex design is made up of five different sections (all 3D printed) which are then combined and bolted onto a carbon fibre rim using titanium fasteners. The result is an ultra-lightweight wheel but has the sturdiness that equals or exceeds an aluminium wheel.