Additive ManufacturingAutomotive AM

FCA and Fraunhofer IAPT 3D print wheel carrier with integrated caliper

Prototype weighs 36% less than 12 individual parts in the traditional version

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

FCA and Fraunhofer IAPT (Research Institution for Additive Manufacturing Technologies) collaborated on a 3D printed wheel carrier with an integrated brake caliper for an FCA sports car.

The part represents the first step towards serial 3D printing of FCA vehicle components. Carlo Carcioffi, Head of Advanced Processes and Materials Body, Interiors, Chassis, commented: “Together with our innovation partner Fraunhofer IAPT, we are cutting the costs and production effort for key vehicle parts. The knowledge transfer will help us to improve additive manufacturing competence in the fields of integrated design, materials, and process technology across the group.”


The additive research collaboration started around the idea of 3D printing a complete suspension system for a sports car. At present, this system still consists of various individual parts such as the wheel carrier, brake caliper including hydraulics, and heat shield. In the past, these components were manufactured individually and then assembled in several steps using screws, seals, and washers to form a complete, functioning system: a complex, time-consuming, and expensive process.

Fraunhofer IAPT
3D printed wheel carrier with an integrated brake caliper for an FCA sports car © Fraunhofer IAPT

“Together with the FCA design team, we had to completely rethink the entire wheel suspension in order to achieve a one-piece bionic structure that fulfilled all the functions of the previous assembly at least equally as well, absorbed all the forces, was weight-optimized, and could be produced additively,” revealed IAPT design engineer Yanik Senkel.

Eco-efficiency through DfAM

The result is impressive: By using topology optimization, the team developed a prototype that weighs 36% less than the 12 individual parts of the conventionally manufactured component. The bionically optimized design reduces the assembly effort enormously, increases the fatigue strength thanks to the more robust construction and should also perform better in terms of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). The clever integral design eliminates many typical weak points and therefore extends its lifetime. “The component demonstrates the potential of Additive Manufacturing for future cars,” added Carcioffi ”and, on top of that, it’s a real eye-catcher.”

The 3D printed wheel carrier with integrated brake caliper, the world’s first of its kind, is only the beginning: It is the starting point for many other projects. In numerous joint workshops, which also covered the areas of material and process development and quality assurance, several components in lightweight and integral construction were completely redeveloped.

“The overall focus is on the reduction of manufacturing costs, for example, by significantly increasing production speed,” explained Ruben Meuth, Head of Business Development at Fraunhofer IAPT. “This innovative project is an excellent example of the collaboration between industry and research. This component shows how Additive Manufacturing can be implemented into series production for luxury and sports cars,” he summed up.

Mr Carcioffi expects that additive manufacturing, will be implemented in several more automotive projects at FCA. “We  can entirely rethink many areas of the automobile and lay the foundations for future innovations,” he said.

Consumer Products AM 2024

This new market study from VoxelMatters provides an in-depth analysis and forecast of polymer and metal AM in the consumer products industry across the three core segments of the additive manufactu...

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services


Join our 12,000+ Professional community and get weekly AM industry insights straight to your inbox. Our editor-curated newsletter equips executives, engineers, and end-users with crucial updates, helping you stay ahead.