3D-printing is expected to storm the automotive industry in the coming years and HRE is one of the first working on bringing to the market a titanium wheel created by a printer.
Back in November, the company revealed the original HRE3D+ wheel concept, showcasing the unlimited possibilities of the technology with a pretty insane design.
HRE Wheels has partnered with GE Additive to make this happen, and already they were able to improve the original design; the second-gen HRE3D+ wheels are significantly lighter, tipping the scales at 16 pounds (7.25kg) and 19 pounds (8.6kg) at 20- and 21-inch sizes. The original 3D-printed titanium wheels weighed 20 (9kg) and 23 pounds (10.4kg) respectively.
The first HRE3D+ concept wheels were made out of 6 parts, including a center cap and lug seat section that held the spokes against the vehicle. The updated concept wheels are comprised by 5 printed sections as they feature a redesigned center area and significant refinements in the printing technique.
The manufacturing process of traditional aluminum Monoblok wheels includes removing 80 percent of the material from a 100lbs forged block of aluminum in order to create the final product. With 3D-printing, that drops to just 5 percent, making it the most efficient way to create a wheel available. Not to mention its unique ability to create complex designs like the mesmerizing interlaced spokes of the HRE3D+.
“Working with GE Additive has given us access to some truly cutting-edge technology, and we’re exploring the future of wheel technology together with tools that will continue to evolve over the next few years. We can’t wait to see what we’re able to accomplish next,” said HRE President Alan Peltier.