How awesome are these 3D-printed titanium wheels?

Watch out for curbs, though
by Vijay Pattni | Nov 15, 2018
PHOTO: TopGear.com

This is a wheel. It is used on motor vehicles to allow forward motion. Functional, then. Often, humans like to fit unnecessarily big wheels onto their motor vehicles because, well, humans.

And if they want really complicated design patterns on their really big wheels? Step forward, HRE Wheels and GE Additive, who have unveiled a new titanium wheel using a form of 3D printing that, apparently, allows for more “complex designs.” Here’s the first one, resplendent on a McLaren P1.

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The companies state the inefficiencies of current aluminum wheel manufacture, where 80% of the material from, say, a 45kg block of aluminum is discarded. This new method removes only 5% of the block.

Plus, titanium is tough and lightweight. And this method called additive manufacturing shows the possibilities. The wheel was produced on a pair of EBM machines in five separate sections, then combined with a custom middle bit and bolted to a carbon-fiber rim with titanium fasteners.

Why so much effort over a wheel? Because it looks wild. And only a little bit like Lego. Whatever your complex design, always remember: Curbs are not welcoming road allies.

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: TopGear.com
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