A monolithic additive manufactured (AM) mechanism with threefold integration of functionalities: fluid channels, compliant thin corrugated membrane and lightweight design that demonstrates the free "functional complexity" potential of metallic AM
As part of a collaborative project at the Product Development Group Zurich/ETH Zurich, a highly integrated mountain bike brake caliper was designed with the design guidelines of metallic AM (DfAM) to demonstrate the "free functional complexity" potential of AM with three added values: design freedom for internal fluid channels, the functional integration of both, a monolithic compliant membrane and topology optimized lightweight design. Traditional brake calipers are hydraulically actuated using pistons. They consist of two halves that are held together by screws. Such design might be prone to leaking. Also, the assembly and bleeding are time-consuming. We managed to reduce the number of parts from 11 to one by replacing the pistons with a compliant mechanism: a thin corrugated membrane. This monolithic design allows the caliper to be printed as one single part with all functionalities integrated. The fluid channels were optimized to trap less air while bleeding. The design is scalable and could be applied to cars or aerospace as well. The -35% lightweight design is visioned to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in such an application domain.
For more information about the highly functional integrated AM part please watch the video.