As the manufacturing needs of specialist high-performance hypercars get increasingly complex, typical CNC machining is becoming obsolete. For specific high-detail components, companies such as Volkswagen and Bugatti are turning to 3D printing. Joining that duo is indie manufacturer Rodin for their FZero Hypercar.
Based in New Zealand, Rodin are a specialist car manufacturer. Known for their custom F1-style single-seat vehicles, the manufacturer creates highly detailed rides. As such, it's no surprise that the company's latest project required a new method of manufacturing.
FZero Hypercar 3D Printed Gearbox
For the Rodin FZero Hypercar, typical CNC machining was not detailed enough for the creation of the car’s gearbox. The Hypercar utilises an eight-speed sequential box with a hydraulically controlled differential.
Rodin turned to 3D printing in order to create a part that could be as complex as they needed without weighing too much. After all, the FZero Hypercar needs a carefully balanced weight to compete with F1 vehicles.
The car company partnered with UK engineering business Ricardo to create the gearbox, a collaboration that would take a year-and-a-half to complete. The part needed to be crafted on 3D Systems' metal 3D printer: DMP Factory 500.
The final product weighs just 68 kilograms with thin 2mm walls; the object also features incredibly thin mounting structures.
Only possible with 3D printing
Rodin Cars founder David Dicker explained that the creation of this integral part required 3D printing to work. He explained:
“3D printing allows us to design and create components otherwise unachievable using traditional methods of manufacturing. With the Rodin FZERO gearbox, we had specific criteria we wanted to meet in terms of weight and durability. Because of the size and quality required for such a large component, it was only possible to print it on 3D Systems’ DMP Factory 500 machine.”
Following the ordeal, Rodin now has a DMP Factory 500 installed in their New Zealand facility.