Teamwork: Six bionic-design pistons produced by MAHLE using 3D printing operate under the bonnet of the Porsche 911 GT2 R
- Additive manufacturing: joint project with Porsche and Trumpf yields world’s first 3D printed piston
- Successful testing in Porsche 911 GT2 RS: 200-hour endurance test on the test bench under the toughest conditions
- 3D printed piston increases the performance and efficiency of the 700 HP drive unit
- MAHLE is also specifically developing its expertise in 3D printing for application in the field of alternative drives
As part of a cooperation with sports car manufacturer Porsche and mechanical engineering company Trumpf, MAHLE has produced high-performance aluminum pistons using 3D printing techniques for the first time. The pistons were successfully tested on the engine test bench for Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS sports car. Whereas standard forged pistons have reached the limits of their performance potential, it is conceivable that the power of the 700 HP Porsche engine could be boosted by 30 HP with an associated increase in efficiency. MAHLE is specifically developing its expertise in 3D printing, so that, in the future, it will also be able to support its customers in the field of alternative drives, including electric drives, by supplying suitable components for drives, thermal management, and mechatronics promptly.
“The results of the project confirm the great potential of 3D printing and demonstrate MAHLE’s particular competence in the field of high-performance small and limited runs and in relation to prototyping and aftermarket,” says Dr.Martin Berger, Head of Corporate Research and Advanced Engineering at MAHLE.
Frank Ickinger, project manager at Porsche, comments: “Thanks to the close cooperation of everyone involved, we were able to demonstrate the potential of additive manufacturing in our top-of-the-line high-performance sports car, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, thus clearing the way for its use in future drives. In terms of technology, this is the start of a new chapter for us, which opens up completely new possibilities in design and production. ”Steffen Rübling, project manager at Trumpf, also sees big opportunities for 3D printing in future manufacturing processes. “The project illustrates how 3D printing can be used to further improve components whose performance potential has already been exhausted by decades of development. This will benefit many other industries, such as aerospace and energy.”