HRE presented the world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheel in collaboration with GE Additive, and it is a sight to behold.
The new prototype wheel, known as the ‘HRE3D+’, reveals how new technologies will affect future wheel designs by marrying a complex design with an advanced material like titanium.
3D-printing will become a major factor in wheel manufacturing, mostly thanks to its superb efficiency; with traditional aluminum Monoblok wheels, 80 percent of the material is removed from a 100lbs forged block of aluminum to create the final product. 3D-printing is the exact opposite, with only 5 percent of the material removed and recycled.
In addition, titanium is almost the perfect material for wheels, as it offers a much higher specific strength than aluminum and is corrosion resistant, creating extremely lightweight wheels and enabling it to be shown in its raw finish.
A 3D-printed wheel also allows designers to create without the limitations that come with the traditional wheels and the tooling that makes them.
The new HRE3D+ concept wheel was produced in five separate sections, which were then combined with a custom center section to a carbon-fiber rim with titanium fasteners. As for the design, it’s simply wild. It looks like nothing else you’ve seen so far, with the spokes so extensively interlaced that give the wheel more depth in every angle.
“This is an incredibly exciting and important project for us as we get a glimpse into what the future of wheel design holds,” said HRE President Alan Peltier. “Working with GE Additive’s AddWorks team gave us access to the latest additive technology and an amazing team of engineers, allowing us to push the boundaries of wheel design beyond anything possible with current methods. To HRE, this partnership with GE Additive moves us into the future.”