There are complex wheel designs, and then there’s this: you’re looking at the world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels fitted to a car. Quite a guinea pig car, too: a McLaren P1.
Just try to absorb the immense complexity of the ‘additive manufacturing’ design. It’s printed in five separate spoke sections that are then fixed to a custom hub and a carbonfibre rim using titanium fasteners. Exotic? You bet.
It’s the product of HRE Wheels and GE Additive, who have collaborated to offer you the wildest wheels at the meet.
Part of the point is to open up new worlds of possibility with regards to design; your imagination is the limit and you could go as wild as a fresher after their fourth Jaegerbomb. The finish still looks a little rough to us in places, but in time the technology should advance.
The other part of the point is to minimise waste metals. A normal alloy wheel is made from a single block of an aluminium blend, carved out like Michelangelo’s wet dream but leaving around 80 per cent of the block’s volume wasted. With 3D printing, even in its relative infancy, the wastage is reduced to five per cent.