BMW raises the bar by combining meteorites and 3D printed parts in its BMW Individual M850i Night Sky
The latest model of BMW is said to come from space. This is certainly the most spectacular and unforgettable launch of a vehicle that we have ever witnessed in the industry. Indeed, the car manufacturer has made meteorites “palpable” in a consumer product.
Those small rocks in space that penetrate our planet on rare occasions and fall to earth have been integrated into the cabin of the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky.
In the words of the manufacturer, this distinctive Widmanstätten surface pattern of meteorites is the “result of the metal alloy cooling down in an extremely slow process that cannot be reproduced on Earth, making it an unmistakable signature of extra-terrestrial material. The unique pattern was first observed back in the early 19th century by a number of people, including the Austrian scientist Alois von Beckh Widmanstätten.”
Furthermore, the exterior components of the vehicle that also integrate this meteorite pattern have been developed using additive manufacturing. The use of this technology makes it the second reason why this vehicle raises interest.
Indeed, it’s been a few years now that the car manufacturer integrates this technology as part of its manufacturing processes. Combining 3D printing with conventional methods has made it possible in this case, to obtain exterior components that best bring out this meteorite pattern.
The creation of the bionic-design brakes also required the use of additive manufacturing for aluminium components. In fact, this technology enables to reduce their mass to the minimum required to meet technical requirements. “The resulting form, whose construction mimics that of bones – with an optimum balance between component rigidity and weight – can only be produced using an additive manufacturing method and not with conventional casting techniques.”
Other technical details include an xDrive all-wheel-drive system and eight-speed Steptronic transmission. This 8 Series is a one-off, so “almost nobody” can have it. However, the standard M850i xDrive is commercialized starting at $111,900.
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