Motorcycles

Additive manufacturing has been used intensively for motorcycles prototyping and motorcycle racing. Luigi Dall’Igna, who has lead Ducati’s racing department for the past four years, has tributed the team’s improving results to the increasing use of polymer 3D printing technologies such as Stratasys filament extrusion and polyjet. CRP, a leading Italian SLS and SLA 3D printing service provider – as well as a leading manufacturer of SLS nylon composite powders – has prototyped and put into serial production the Energica motorcycle – the first range of electric superbikes – thanks to its deep experience with AM.

Over the years, motorcycles have often been used to show emerging new possibilities of additive manufacturing technologies. One very high profile case saw large-format 3D printer manufacturer BigRep produce an entire electric motorcycle – the Nera – almost entirely 3D printed. The use of electric powertrains is a key element driving increasing adoption of AM. The relatively lower temperatures generated by the electric motors, coupled with a higher impact from weight reduction, are making metal replacement, 3D printable polymers a more viable option for an increasing number of parts. In metal 3D printing, increasing awareness of topologiìy optimization options is going to make AM a more viable manufacturing process for some high-end models.

Last but not least, motorcycles have traditionally been characterized by high levels of customization. Breathtaking projects such as the recent Honda Monkey or Fuller Moto’s 2029 give us a glimpse into what can be achieved in terms of custom shapes with the growing adoption of metal AM technologies. In this AM Focus we are going to highlight the latest news on 3D printing of motorcycles and motorcycle parts, highlighting the most relevant underlying trends that are characterizing this exciting AM vertical.

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