The French exotic manufacturer is presenting a prototype for now – using three-dimensional printing they managed to develop an eight-piston monobloc brake caliper.
If used on a production vehicle in the near future this would undoubtedly become the largest in the industry on a production model – although making use of titanium means it’s also one of the lightest in the world. It tips the scales at a mere six pounds six ounces (2.9 kilograms), versus 10 pounds 13 ounces for the aluminum caliper currently used by the mighty Chiron. “In terms of volume, this is the largest functional component produced from titanium by additive manufacturing methods,” explains Frank Götzke, Head of New Technologies at Bugatti. “Everyone who looks at the part is surprised at how light it is – despite its large size. Technically, this is an extremely impressive brake caliper, and it also looks great.”
Naturally, it’s something just for limited manufacturing, at first – each caliper requires 45 hours of work – with the production process having to do with the use of titanium powder. The substance is melted down with the aid of four, 400-watt lasers and 2,213 layers later the structure will be complete, though there’s still much to do. It needs heat treating to make it strong and then the piece needs to be smoothed out – at the very end a five-axis mill machine will deliver al the contours needed for functional surfaces such as the pistons. At the end, this is not only larger and lighter – but also stronger than what’s being used on the Chiron, with Bugatti aiming to start real-world trials of the 3D-printed component this year.