New Zealand-based manufacturer Rodin Cars has unveiled the state-of-the-art 8-speed sequential transmission that it will pair with a new Neil Brown Engineering V10 for the FZero road car. The 3D-printed titanium gearbox – with hydraulically controlled differential – is the result of an 18-month collaborative design process between Rodin, Ricardo and 3D Systems.
Developed specifically for the Rodin FZero, the gearbox features unique gear ratios and a hydraulically controlled titanium differential that can only be produced using additive manufacturing due to the necessary internal galleries and thin wall bearing and mount structures.
To help facilitate the production of a gearbox that has 2mm thick walls and a total weight of 68kg, application engineers at 3D System employed industry-leading direct metal printing (DMP) technology. This industry-leading solution – featuring a vacuum chamber to ensure the lowest O2 content – enables highest possible surface quality.
“3D printing allows us to design and create components otherwise unachievable using traditional methods of manufacturing,” explained David Dicker, founder, Rodin Cars. “With the Rodin FZero gearbox, we had specific criteria we wanted to meet in terms of weight and durability.
“Because of the size and quality required for such a large component, it was only possible to print it on 3D Systems’ DMP Factory 500 machine. We couldn’t source another AM supplier who was able to offer a similar solution for our needs – the print quality, volume capacity, testing facilities in Leuven, and continued technological support.”