World’s First 3D-Printed Titanium Wheels Are Just Insane To Look At

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.”

 

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  • Dude

    Technically this is very cool. Visually? Not as good.

  • Six_Tymes

    have fun cleaning those.

    • PK

      easy. just wash them.

      • Ryan50

        No shit. But that won’t be easy.

        • TheHake

          Ever heard of Kärcher???

          • Ryan50

            Ever hear of bleach?

        • PK

          why not?

    • I was thinking the same thing.

    • Marty

      No problem at all to keep them clean since they are prototypes.

  • Kagan

    So what is the big difference between 3d printing and casting? Both are melted metal!

    • Toronado_II

      This is impossible to cast this shape. Personally, I have some concerns about the mechanical properties of this wheel.

      • Matteo Tommasi

        If it’s well studied, I would have no concerns.

      • MikeofLA

        GE uses these machines and materials to create jet engine and rocket engine components. I wouldn’t worry about the wheels having any issues.

      • europeon

        Sintered titanium parts are used in turbos and aerospace, so strength is not an issue. They’re at least as strong, if not stronger, than cast parts.

        • Toronado_II

          Maybe some thermal treatment are applied…

    • Marty

      With casting (or sintring) you can just make the shape that the hugely expensive tool is designed to make. With 3D printing you can make any shape the designers have on file at any time.

  • Jason Miller

    I hear they are $20k each…

  • Ilbirs

    I liked the way these wheels were made. Their design, despite not being an unanimity, served to show what is possible to be done with 3D printing, like these interlaced spokes and intricate patterns. In the technical part, I’d like to know how much unsprung weight is cut compared to a conventional alloy wheel.

  • TheBelltower

    HRE is amazing.

  • Since this wheel is made in pieces, I am concerned about the structural fitness and durability of this wheel.

    • Bo Hanan

      Just 1 (the first) pothole.

  • TB

    Bet they are fun to clean…

    • Stigasawuswrecks

      Better set aside a weekend and get some toothbrushes.

    • KareKakk

      Convert the car to drum brakes all around = much less dust to clean away.

  • DR.FUNK

    Most designs won’t be nearly that intricate.Still…nice to know that you can get as fancy as that.
    So then…what’s the cost of the machines? What’s the learning curve v. the traditional CNC method? How much is a block of titanium v a block of aluminum?

    • TheHake

      You can’t machine that. Even with a 5-axis machine. The interlacing stress-members cannot be machined. That’s the beauty of 3D printing.

  • john1168

    Wow! The detail is insane! They ain’t gonna be cheap…

  • WHO CLEANS THEM FOR YOU?

  • Ronald Roman

    They would look nice on my Aveo! 🙂

  • Bo Hanan

    Hahahaha.

  • MarketAndChurch

    3d-printing is the future of car design and manufacturing.

    • Mike anonymous

      So just as I come to comment this shows up, If forgot I can’t mention C-S. without it waiting, “pend-in-g ap-prov-al” (I’m spacing it out just in case).

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b4c33f9f9fb897f2e015911784af099d302285483199040f51bb7297e545718.png

    • Mike anonymous

      Hey there, Sorry this is an old post but I didn’t want to start an entire (un-irrelevant to the topic) conversation in the comments section of that article.

      So first (lol) I had zero idea you could actually even follow people on here until you did, so I guess there’s that, Thank you. (I returned the gesture as you’ve likely been notified)… ok onto the second thing.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/997ef66118d81a78090eacd93a8e4e881ee9190741167f4a7677838d7c2e387b.png

      Yeah, Nordschleife even has brought it up once I think. Other people have asked in the past if I work for C-S. or moderate or something of the sort. (My response to one of them was that; “if I did, my comments would never be ‘pending approval’”.). I have not asked anyone other than yourself; but why do you wish that I did?.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b933c98486b576c518f344d2111d56a8c77a9395789b33a2cb3e1249143d0414.png

      I’ve got a short story regarding why I probably don’t (past things), but I wouldn’t want to get into that, unless you’d like to hear about it. I’d more so like (and am curious) to hear your opinion on why you think I should?

      • MarketAndChurch

        You’ve got to a great perspective on things and you know what you’re talking about. You remind me a lot of myself and the passion I have for both cars and car design. You’re very thorough in many of your posts, and I think it would only enrichen C-S if you also submitted a story every once in a while.

        • Mike anonymous

          Hey sorry it’s taken me so long to get back with you on this. I REALLY appreciate that (thought I should let you know, when I read that it pretty much made my day, and made me smile).

          Yeah it would be a slightly long story that I could try to summarize, but that would be quite long all on it’s own. I actually used to do automotive journalism (For an popular digital automotive magazine I helped to start), and in-short through it I got to meet a lot of people in the automotive industry as well as. Started as a passion, until it got a little too big to handle on a constant basis. (Again I’m REALLY skipping over a LOT).

          Anyways I’m sure if you want to hear about all of that you’d ask, so I will move on. To be honest I don’t really know how I would go about publishing an article to CS, but more so, my question would be,.. “what would I write about”?

          —–

          As for me being passionate about cars and car design… You have NO IDEA (haha). But my passions regarding design and engineering go far past the automotive space (software, computers, architecture, science, etc, you name it)… But everything is unique, and cars,.. something unique about them that always seems to draw me back.

          In regards to me being thorough in my posts, it was something I hadn’t really noticed, but I guess that may just be me personally.

          —–

          OK ok, I think I am rambling at this point. Anyways I really was glad to see your comment when I did, and it is nice to know that there are others who are just as passionate about cars and car design as myself (and yourself) out there.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Too busy

  • Brent Morrison

    That’s great. Let’s see it moving and undergoing intense g-forces.

  • Ary Wisesa

    Wow! Amazing….. I like it!

  • Bash

    Its cool, amazing, but not for daily driving!

  • Blade t

    Love the p1 minus those busy wheels..

  • jfalckt

    I developed trypohobia looking at those

  • Vassilis

    Very impressive indeed but also very weird.

  • Stephen G

    “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”. So it’s NOT the first 3D printed titanium wheel! Some may call this fake news.

  • Wulf2000

    Another gizmo for the uber wealthy.

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