Building a better mousetrap is a term in design for innovating in a space where popular opinion holds that there is no improving on a particular product, however basic or elaborate that may be. While not working on rodent remediation, Bugatti engineers did come back to the drawing board on one of their more overlooked components and answered back with a solid titanium, 3D-printed eight piston brake caliper. Wow.
The development of a monobloc brake caliper came from Bugatti’s never-ending conquest to refine their production processes in order to make their world-class offerings even better. With previous calipers for the Chiron and Veyron being milled from aluminum in a reduction process, engineers approached the redesign from a different angle, believing that an additive method would yield a much more complex component. The team partnered with Laser Zentrum Nord in Germany for the production of the caliper, which used 2,213 layers of titanium powder that were fused by four high powered lasers, a process that took 45 hours to complete. The result is a brake caliper that is larger than anything else on the market, stronger than previous Bugatti components, and weighing 40% less than its aluminum predecessor. Now we will patiently wait for this futuristic technology to trickle down from the heavens to realm of mere mortals, seeing that Bugatti’s parent is the beloved Volkswagen group.