Flexibility drives top-tier forged wheels designed by 2elle-engineeringDownload The Article
The ability to swiftly engage with customer aspirations while maintaining premium quality sets 2elle-engineering apart in the world of forged metal wheels. Designing with a flexible and efficient CAD software plays a pivotal part.
Established in 2008, 2elle-engineering Srl is a globally renowned manufacturer of one-piece and modular forged wheels located close to Padua, Italy. Despite challenges within the automotive sector and the recent pandemic, the company has consistently achieved remarkable growth in both revenue and workforce, and now boasts over 70 employees.
Brothers Davide and Alessandro Lucaora share responsibility for the technical-production and the financial-commercial sides of the family business.
“We collaborate with renowned competition teams, major tuner brands, international military and security vehicle manufacturers, and of course the world’s top car manufacturers,” notes Davide Lucaora when describing their customer base. The exceptional quality and reliability of wheels from 2elle-engineering have even earned them the coveted DUNS number from the Volkswagen Group, a certification reserved for the most esteemed suppliers.
Forged Wheels: Elevating Performance and Elegance
The heart of 2elle-engineering’s ingenuity lies in careful crafting of hot forged aluminum for their one-piece and modular wheel rims. Unlike traditional aluminum diecast wheels, forged wheels are engineered from aluminum alloy billets that are heated above the recrystallization temperature into a plastic condition. The billets are then transformed through repeated hammer blows or presses, resulting in a product of exceptional strength and resilience.
Forged wheels possess a finer grain structure, leading to greater mechanical strength and durability, and a more effective stress distribution over a larger surface area. As a result, these premium wheels outperform their diecast counterparts in performance, safety, and ride comfort. Producing a range of forged rims from 13 to 24 inches, the high-end vehicle market seeks out 2elle-engineering’s forged wheels, valuing the relentless craftsmanship that embodies both premium aesthetics and rugged functionality.
Highest Quality with the Fastest Process
2elle-engineering strives for absolute quality in the shortest possible time by focusing on meticulous inspection at every step of production, from CAD design and structural analysis, to machining the forged blank, through to special finishes or painting. The workshop operates 24 hours a day to ensure prompt order fulfillment. The technical department is equally agile, capable of producing wheel designs within 24 hours, regardless of how the request is made – be it through 3D models, images, or sketches.
CAD Software that Empowers Flexibility and Collaboration
For the designers at 2elle-engineering, Cimatron offers a seamless integration of design and manufacturing processes that enable a rapid response to customer requirements. The immediacy of the software helps to accelerate the process and enables a more effective collaboration workflow. Lucaora explains, “The stylists are creative and sometimes in their designs they forget that inside the rim there must also be a place for the mechanics of the car, such as brake calipers. The aesthetic elements must be checked by us to allow the necessary clearances and avoid potential interference. We then must verify all overall dimensions and simulate the structural loads. For some armored vehicles, each wheel must be capable of bearing multiple tons of weight. Thanks to Cimatron’s capabilities, we can easily extract the internal geometry, set suitable thicknesses, instantly change profiles, and try other solutions. Generally, once the design is set up, most of the work is already done because the changes are quick to implement.”
Sketching is another function of Cimatron employed by the 2elle-engineering technical department. “It serves as an environment that provides valuable guidelines for the design concept. We can define lines, extrude shapes, model various surfaces, add dimensions, constraints and parametric relationships. It is convenient to be able to set the axis at different points and use the various planes to create new geometry. The user experience is simpler, automation increases, and the design is completed in less time. For example, the system automatically recognizes the center of a hole without the operator having to add it manually.” Lucaora remarks, “ We work on the project, and Cimatron equips us with the necessary tools to develop the design, which will eventually be sent to the foundry for the production of the blank.”
Automating Designs and Capturing Business Knowledge
Cimatron’s hybrid modeling functions also play a vital role in streamlining the design process for 2elle-engineering. “Summary tables are particularly useful to us because they are obtained automatically from the three-dimensional model,” claims Lucaora. “By doing so, we avoid the risk of making mistakes due to unnecessary repetition or misunderstanding data. The tables can include sections, bills of material, bore tables, the information needed to order components, as well as perform machining in the workshop, and manage quality and documentation.” Their use of summary tables helps to automate and standardize the design process by allowing the use of previously saved procedures that were customized with company knowledge, experience and expert ‘know-how’. These standards and procedures can be passed on immediately for operators to use on future projects.
2elle-engineering’s relentless pursuit of excellence extends beyond their current success. Lucaora remarks, “Market demands have convinced us that we can double our production capacity and indeed the expansion continues.” Recent investments in a state-of-the-art automatic painting department have significantly shortened the production chain, slashing turnaround times and elevating overall operational efficiency. The company now sets its sights on pioneering new projects, notably carbon-fiber wheels featuring an aluminum central flange with a carbon channel. Lucaora observes, “Carbon fiber guarantees a more comfortable ride for the car because it does not induce vibrations, it does not ‘sound’ like a metal wheel would. This innovation has already been adopted, for example, on some Rolls Royce models. Of course, it’s the same niche, high-tech market in which we excel.”