1936 Auto Union Typ C created using 3D printer by Audi image
The German luxury automaker is going through a rough patch right now because its parent VW AG keeps finding “issues” with its polluting emissions but that hasn’t stopped them from having a little historic fun.
Audi Toolmaking has used a 3D printer to deliver on a 1:2 scale a replica of the 1936 Auto Union Typ C, with the Silver Arrow model remaining true to its heritage. It was created through the use of selective-sintering laser technology and was created using metallic powder with a grain size of 15 to 40 thousands of a millimeter – for comparison purposes this is around half of the diameter of a human hair. The technology will have the potential to flexibly deliver all sorts of parts that come with inherently complex geometries and have been hard to manufacture using the traditional build methods. Audi added they are now 3D printing parts made out of steel and aluminum that have a length of up to 240 mm and a maximum height of 200 mm. The components are even denser than the ones built using conventional hot forming or die casting.
The entire German group as of now already has 14 toolmaking units across nine countries and are looking to expand them through cooperative ventures to hasten research and development in this groundbreaking domain. For the historic replica, metal printing was used for all metallic parts of the 1936 Auto Union Typ C replicated on a 1:2 scale. Their main desire is to have this kind of synthetic manufacturing ready in the next years for series production.