HRE Wheels and GE Additive announced a partnership agreement and unveiled the first titanium wheel created using EBM technology (a type of 3D printing). Known as "HRE3D+", this new prototype wheel shows what the future of wheel technology will bring and how advanced materials like titanium can be harnessed to create complex designs. For more information see the IDTechEx report on 3D Printing Materials 2018-2028.
The goal of the "HRE3D+" project was to test the capabilities of additive manufacturing in a practical application and to create a highly-sophisticated wheel design with an elusive material like titanium. With a traditional aluminum Monoblok wheel, 80% of material is removed from a 100-pound forged block of aluminum to create the final product. With additive manufacturing, only 5% of the material is removed and recycled, making the process far more efficient. Titanium also has a much higher specific strength than aluminum and is corrosion resistant, allowing it to be extremely lightweight and to be shown in its raw finish.
There was an intensive design collaboration between the Vista, California based team at HRE and the GE AddWorks team out of Ohio. Using design queues from two existing models of HRE wheels, the two companies worked together to create a stunning example of 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 center section and titanium fasteners.
"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."
"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," said Robert Hanet, senior design engineer, GE Additive AddWorks.
Source and top image: HRE Wheels