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World’s First 3D Printed Titanium Wheel created by Partners HRE Wheels and GE Additive

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Above: HRE3D+ wheel installed on a McLaren race car/Image Credit: HRE Wheels


HRE Wheels, designer and manufacturer of aluminium alloy wheels for Racing, Performance & Luxury cars and SUVs, entered into a partnership with GE Additive to unveil the world’s first 3D printed titanium wheel. The HRE and GE Additive AddWorks team worked together to 3D print the wheel using Electron Beam Melting (EBM) – a powder-bed fusion 3D printing technology.

The California-based company explored the capabilities of 3D printing by working closely with GE Additive to create a practical application. By the association, it was able to produce a highly complex titanium wheel, which is now called as ‘HRE3D+’.

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Above: HRE3D+ Titanium Wheel Drum/Image Credit: HRE Wheels


Traditionally, the wheel is manufactured by subtracting as much as 80% material from a 100-pound forged aluminium monoblock to create the final product. With additive manufacturing, only 5% of the material is removed and recycled improving the efficiency of the process. Additionally, a titanium material, which has a much higher specific strength than aluminium and is corrosion resistant, allowing it to be extremely lightweight and to be shown in its raw finish, can be used in a cost-effective way.

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Above: HRE3D+ the World’s first 3D printed titanium wheel/Video Credit: HRE Wheels/YouTube

HRE’s California-based team, the Vista extensively collaborated with the design team at GE AddWorks team out of Ohio. Both these teams redefined the wheel design and explored new avenues of wheel design to showcase what is possible with additive manufacturing. The wheel was produced on two Arcam EBM machines – Q20 and a Q10 in five separate sections, then combined using a custom centre section and bolted to a carbon fibre rim using titanium fasteners.

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Above: One of the five pieces of the HRE3D+ wheel/Image Credit: HRE Wheels


“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.”

Robert Hanet, senior design engineer, GE Additive AddWorks stated, “HRE prides itself on its commitment to excellence and superior quality in the marketplace. It was a natural fit for AddWorks to work on this project with them and really revolutionize the way wheels can be designed and manufactured.”

The “HRE3D+” wheel will be on display from November 13-16 on GE Additive’s booth (D30) at the formnext tradeshow in Frankfurt, Germany.

About HRE Performance Wheels: HRE designs, engineers and manufactures 3-piece and 1-piece forged aluminum alloy wheels for Racing, Performance & Luxury cars and SUVs in their San Diego, California-based, TÜV-approved facility.

About GE Additive: GE Additive – part of GE (NYSE: GE) is a world leader in additive design and manufacturing, a pioneering process that has the power and potential to transform businesses. GE Additive includes additive machine providers Concept Laser and Arcam EBM; along with additive material provider AP&C.

About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on 3D Printing Technology News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on Google+

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Manufactur3D is an Indian Online 3D Printing Media Platform that reports on the latest news, insights and analysis from the Indian and the Global 3D Printing Industry.
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