HRE just made a set of incredible 3D-printed wheels that look absolutely stunning on this 2019 Ford GT.
We’re slowly inching our way towards a Star Trekkian future thanks to 3D printing. This new manufacturing methods literally takes a powdered form of base metals and plastics and turns them into impossible shapes not seen in nature.
California-based HRE recently teamed up with GE Additive for the latest iteration of their HRE3D+ titanum wheel. With HRE providing the design and GE Additive providing cutting-edge 3D printing technology, these wheels look like something out of a science fiction movie.
HRE and GE used two methods to create these wheels. The first is called Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM), which uses a laser “to melt ultra-fine layers of titanium powder on top of each other to gradually build complex forms with extremely fine detail."
The second is called Electron Beam Melting (EBM), and it uses a beam of electrons to fuse metal together in a near-vacuum environment. These two methods combine to create strange, futuristic designs that are impossible to create using traditional manufacturing methods.
They’re also extremely efficient. If HRE wanted to make this wheel the old fashioned way, they’d need a giant block of titanium which would then be carefully machined down to size. That method would waste 80% of the material, but by using 3D printing, only 5% of the material is wasted.
These wheels are also a lot lighter than before. HRE’s previous generation of HRE3D+ titanum wheel weighed 20 lbs for the 20-inch wheels and 23 lbs for the 21-inch wheels. These new versions weigh just 16 and 19 lbs for the 20 and 21-inch wheels, respectively.
Each wheel is built in 6 different sections and then attached to a carbon fiber barrel.
“We’re proud to be breaking new ground in wheel manufacturing with the updated HRE3D+ wheels,” says HRE President and CEO Alan Peltier in a press release. “Working with GE Additive has given us access to some truly cutting-edge technology, and we’re exploring the future of wheel technology together with tools that will continue to evolve over the next few years. We can’t wait to see what we’re able to accomplish next.”
You’ll even be able to see these wheels up close and personal at the RAPID + TCT 2019 trade show in Detroit from May 21-23. They’ll be shown off on this purple 2019 Ford GT, so they’ll be kinda hard to miss.