Porsche has teamed up with Mahle and Trumpf to 3D print highly-stressed pistons for the fastest supercar in its 911 lineup, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
According to the German high-performance auto manufacturer, 3D printing allows the pistons to be produced with a structure that is optimized for the loads acting on the pistons.
On account of this, the new pistons weigh 10% less than the forged series production pistons.
They also have an integrated and closed cooling duct in the piston crown that cannot be produced using conventional methods, notes Frank Ickinger, Porsche’s Advance Drive Development project manager.
“Thanks to the new, lighter pistons, we can increase the engine speed, lower the temperature load on the pistons and optimize combustion.”
“This makes it possible to get up to 30 PS more power from the 700 PS biturbo engine, while at the same time improving efficiency.”
The 911 GT2 RS’ pistons were manufactured from high-purity metal powder using the Laser Metal Fusion (LMF) process, where a laser beam heats and melts the powder surface corresponding to the part contour.
The quality and performance capability of the components were then validated using measurement technology from Zeiss.
Porsche was one of the first supercar manufacturers to embrace additive manufacturing in several areas of its production processes.
For example, a 3D printed body-form full bucket seat has been available since May 2020 for the model series 911 and 718. Here, the central section of the seat is partly produced by a 3D printer.
As 3D printing makes any geometric shape possible, Porsche’s customers can chose between three firmness levels (hard, medium, soft) for the comfort layer in future.
Porsche Classic also uses additive processes to reproduce plastic, steel and alloy spare parts that were previously no longer available. A release lever for the clutch of the Porsche 959, for example, today comes from a 3D printer.
Around 20 reproduced parts for its classic models are currently manufactured using additive processes, notes Porsche.
Image and content: Porsche AG