Engineering Headlines

Audi produces legendary silver arrow with 3D printer

Racing car from 1936

Audi has taken a nostalgia excursion: the Auto Bauer has revived a legendary sports car with the 3D printer from 1936 the silver arrow Auto Union Type C.

How did the engineers manage this?

Looking back to the year 1936: At that time, type C caused quite a sensation.

The sports car of the Audi predecessor, Auto Union, won three of the five Grand Prizes as the most successful German Grand Prix race car and set over more than 30 world records.

No wonder. A powerful V16 rear engine with 520 hp roared under the bonnet. The silver arrow also looked deadly and futuristic for its time.

Reason enough for the Audi engineers to pay homage to the 1965 vintage car with a replica.

Body of the silver arrow comes from the 3D printer

The engineers used a modern 3D printer for their reproduction: A laser melted metallic powder with a grain size of 15 to 40 thousandths of a mill in so-called selective sintering.

This corresponds to half the diameter of a human hair. In this way, the car body parts of the famous silver arrow were built in layers.

However, only half as large, on a 1: 2 scale. Motorization is correspondingly more modest. Audi donated the old-timer replica an electric motor with 30 kW power (almost 40 hp).

Audi wants to bring 3D printing into series production With the campaign, Audi is stepping up the advertising drum for 3D printing. “In the tool making of Audi and the Volkswagen Group, we are pushing ahead with new manufacturing technologies,” says Hubert Waltl, Audi’s Chief Executive Officer for the VW Group’s production and managerial staff. “Together with partners from research, we are constantly exploring the limits of new procedures. One of our goals is the use of metal printers in serial production. ”

Audi is currently producing aluminum and steel components up to a size of 240×200 mm with the 3D printer.

Compared to die casting and hot forming, the components achieved a higher density, which could lead to even more stable vehicles.

Local Motors launches the first serial car from the 3D printer on the market

Of course, with the use of 3D printers, Audi is not alone in the car sector.

Local Motors is even one step ahead of the company: The US car manufacturer is launching LM3D in 2017 – a buggy whose chassis and body are 75% from the 3D printer.

At the moment the vehicle is still in an intensive test and development phase. Finally, it must meet strict safety criteria for road admissions.

But soon the Mini factory in Knoxville (Tennessee) with the serial production begins.

And BMW has already manufactured its first component with the 3D printer 25 years ago.

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