New 3D-Printed Titanium Wheels Only Weigh 16 Pounds
Earlier this year, HRE announced it was developing the world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels. And now they’re here! The new second-gen HRE3D+ wheel was unveiled on IndyCar driver’s Graham Rahal’s Ford GT.
HRE worked in collaboration with General Electric’s additive manufacturing division, GE Additive. HRE and GE took a new approach with the second generation of printing. They switched to Electron Beam Melting which uses a 3,000-watt or 6,000-watt electron-beam gun to melt the titanium powder in a high-temp vacuum environment.
The changes in the new wheel production allowed the wheels to become less complex and significantly lighter. The first gen wheels (20- and 21-inch) weighed 20 pounds and 23 pounds respectively. The second gen, however, lost an average weight of 19 percent, weighing in at 16 pounds and 19 pounds.
The HRE3D+ wheels will be debuted officially at RAPID + TCT, a Detroit-based trade show.