The Koenigsegg One:1's 3D-Printed Variable Turbo Is A Design Masterpiece

3D printing has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years. There are now dozens of consumer-grade printers on the market, extruding ABS plastic and other materials for hobbyists to create small (and usually flimsy) showpieces from CAD files. If you want a more serious example of the power of 3D printing, though, check this out: Koenigsegg printed an entire turbocharger assembly.

Both of the turbochargers at the heart of the "world's first megacar" One:1's 5.0-litre V8 are fully variable, producing just the right amount of boost pressure at any RPM -- reducing lag and pressure spikes, and giving the One:1 a relatively flat torque curve from 4000RPM all the way to its 8250RPM redline.

It's the kind of nifty innovation that drives the One:1 to a full 1341hp -- or 1000kW, in the new money -- and 1371Nm, giving the 1360kg car a one-to-one power-to-weight ratio as its name implies.

I wonder at the utility of mass-producing finicky (and necessarily perfectly balanced) turbocharger parts using 3D printing, but for a super-low-volume vehicle like the One:1 -- only seven are planned in total -- it makes sense. [/DRIVE]



    Basically for this car to run well, it needs to be run at at least 4000 RPM?

      Not at all -- that's just where it starts to make a consistently massive amount of torque. It's still putting out 100kW and 600Nm at 2000RPM -- off boost, it's still a gutsy 5L V8.

      FYI, this car has more kw at 3,000 rev than my car at peak boost and it has more torque than my car at any given rev (I drive a modded STi). So this car will run "well" before 4,000 rev for daily commute.
      That said, I doubt anyone actually uses this car for daily commute and staying above 4,000 rev on the track isn't exactly difficult.

    I wonder if they had to machine the parts after they were printed to get them perfectly balanced .

      I'm sure there'd have to be some level of after-printing refinement; you look down the barrel of any turbocharger and there's always a slice or two taken off the centre nut to balance the entire assembly. (It looks weird, that's why I always notice it.)

      Koenigsegg seems to know a thing or two about rotational balance though -- check out the video on its carbon fiber wheels:

        I know. They're awesome. I'm an avid reader of car magazines.

    They printed the housings (compressor and turbine, including the flap) and possibly the compressor/turbine wheels and other parts, but the it would have been assembled like a normal turbo. The parts would have been machined after printing. They didn't just click "print" and out came a complete working turbo.

    They did not print the turbines or compressor housing... only the exhaust housing and the flap. The complexity of the twisting of the two "pipes" together to get the correct flow when the valve is closed and open makes casting, and the required after cast surface refinishing, impractical. The compressor housing is a pretty standard design and simple to cast and production methods for these parts are adequate. Turbines are easily cnc milled or produced by other methods so why would you print them.
    Printing is specifically required when you want complex internal shapes...

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