Legendary Silver Arrow 3D printed (Audi)

Audi has can be carried away to a nostalgic digression: German Carmaker has rebuild with the 3D printer a legendary sports car from 1936 – the Silver Arrow “Auto Union type C”. How did engineers get all this together? Lets see…Look back in the year 1936: then type C furore neat. The sports racing cars of the Audi predecessor car Union won as the most successful German Grand Prix cars three of five great prices and over 30 world records set. No wonder. Because under the hood roared a powerful V16 rear engine with 520 HP. The silver arrow looked even more deadly, and for its time very futuristic. Reason enough for the Audi engineers by 2015 to pay homage to the classic car with a replica.

Legendary Silver Arrow 3D printed
Pretty as a picture, or? An auto Union type C 1936. behind the wheel is the drummer of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason.

Body of the silver arrow coming out of the 3D printer

Engineers have used very modern the 3D printers for their replica: A laser melted during the so-called selective sintering metallic powder with a grain size between 15 and 40 thousandth of a mm. That is half of the diameter of a human hair. So, the body parts of the famous silver arrow formed layer by layer. But only half the size, on a scale of 1:2. Appropriately more modest is also the engine. Audi an electric motor with 30 kW power (less than 40 PS) bought the vintage replica.

Audi wants to bring 3D into production

Audi comes with the action vigorously promote for 3D printing. “In the tool structures by Audi and Volkswagen Group we promote new production technologies”, says Hubert Waltl, Audi Board Member for production and head of the VW Group tool structures. “Together with partners from the research we explore again the limits of new procedures. One of our goals is the use of metal printers in production.”

Legendary Silver Arrow 3D printed
Silver arrow Auto Union type C: the vintage replica in scale 1:2 comes out of the 3D printer. Photo: Audi

Currently manufactures Audi aluminum and steel parts, up to a size of 240 x 200 mm with the 3D printer. Compared to die casting and hot forming, the components achieved a higher density, which could lead to still more stable vehicles.

Local motors brings first production car from the 3D printer on the market

Of course Audi is not alone in using the 3D printer in the car industry. Local engine company is even a step ahead: the American car manufacturer launches 2017 namely LM3D – a buggy which chassis and body to 75% come from the 3D printer. The vehicle is currently in an intensive test and development phase. Finally, it must meet strict safety criteria for the approval of the road. But soon the Minifactory in Knoxville (Tennessee) to begin the series production. And BMW has made its first component with the 3D printer 25 years ago.