Audi has created a 1:2 scale model of the 1936 Auto Union Type C Race Car using 3D printing technology
Audi Toolmaking is a division of the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer responsible for producing 3D-printed replication of the 1936 Auto Union Type C Grand Prix car. The 1:2 scale model recreated by 3D printing technology can still seat a driver. Audi has taken the use for metal 3D printers to another level with this replica based on the iconic Silver Arrows racer.
Whilst producing complex components using additive manufacturing technology, Audi intends to further develop the 3D printing trend by partnering with other brands in the Volkswagen group. Audi parental group, Volkswagen, currently manages fourteen toolmaking divisions across nine nations, of which, some are investing hefty sum to help develop manufacturing using 3D printing technology.
Audi Toolmaking in conjunction with some VW group companies germinating ways to bring metallic 3D printing and sand printing into manufacturing lines for vehicle production.
The Auto Union Type C’s metallic parts were built using Selective Laser Sintering with layers of metallic powder at a grain size of 15 to 40 thousandths of a mm were melted by a laser. Thus components involving complex geometries could be produced with more ease in the future.
The toolmakers are also working on combination of various additives including aluminium and steel and can produce objects up to 240mm in length and 200mm in height. The resultant 3D-printed components will be of high density than parts created by conventional materials.
Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, the Type C represented the pinnacle in the development of racing cars back then and ran its first race in 1934 contested to the 750 kg weight limit formula.
The significant design feature was the 16-cylinder, mid-mounted engine positioned directly behind the driver’s cockpit. It was glorified as the most successful racing car to come out of Germany, winning three of the five GPs alongside majority of the circuit races and all the hill-climbs that Auto Union entered in.
“We are pushing forward with new manufacturing technologies at Audi Toolmaking and at the Volkswagen Group,”
said Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Audi’s Board of Management Member for Production and Head of Toolmaking at the Volkswagen Group.
“Together with partners in the area of research, we are constantly exploring the boundaries of new processes. One of our goals is to apply metal 3D printers in series production.”