Needing to withstand the falls and obstacles of the roads and trails, motorbikes need to be sturdy and resistant to damage. An ideal motorcycle is high-powered; but traditional manufacturing methods can only take us so far. Motorbike manufacturers are now turning to 3D printing technologies to help them design motorbike models that are lightweight, high-powered, and resilient. Below, we explore some of the best new motorbike innovations on the market.
The Energica Ego Electric Superbike
CRP Group developed the first 3D-printed electric superbike, dubbed the Energica Ego electric superbike, which took only two years to be designed and built. The bike was developed using Windform Additive Manufacturing, that can be used to create internal truss structures. This form of manufacturing guarantees structures that are both strong and light: ideal for motorbike touring and racing.
The TE Connectivity Motorcycle
TE Connectivity have been hailed as the first US company to design and build a 3D-printed motorcycle. Impressively, the entire bike’s frame, its tank, and wheels, were all printed in plastic. The manufacturers then added the wiring, battery, belt drive, tyres, brakes, side stand, and high-powered electric motor; making for impressive manufacturing speed and ease. According to the manufacturers, it took just 1000 hours to design and print the bike.
The Light Rider
In comparison, a German company - APWorks, have designed and produced a super-light, high-powered 3D printed electric motorcycle: named the Light Rider.
3D printing technology has allowed the design to take on many unique attributes: The bike was developed using Scalmalloy, which is resilient to breakdown and is a strong as sturdier metals, such as titanium. The bike weighs just 35 kilograms, which is up to 30% lighter than the standard motorcycle; 3D printing technology allowed the designers to keep the weight of the bike to a minimum, while also ensuring that it was able to handle heavier loads. This combination has allowed for style and strength to combine; presenting a design that it totally unique in it’s appearance, and impressive in its abilities. The bike’s look has been described as, “more like an organic exoskeleton than a machine”.
In addition, the bike has been noted for its speed: which reaches 80 kilometres per hour, powered by a 6 kW electric motor. The bike is also incredibly powerful, as it can run from 0-45km/h in just three seconds.
APWorks' CEO Joachim Zettler, delves into the unique qualities of the design: "The complex and branched hollow structure couldn't have been produced using conventional production technologies such as milling or welding. Advances in additive layer manufacturing have allowed us to realise the bionic design we envisioned for the motorcycle without having to make any major changes. With these technologies, the limitations facing conventional manufacturing disappear."
A new era
3D printing technology allows for innovative new designs in the world of motorcycling: giving way for the construction of models that are super-light way, stylish, and high-powered.