Etteplan patents 3D printed motorcycle seat

The patent also covers 3D printing as the only viable manufacturing method

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To make something complicated even more complex, patents in 3D printing do not concern only 3D printing technologies but anything you can invent with them. This latest case is a clear example of a 3D printed invention where the patent also covers 3D printing as the manufacturing method. Finnish engineering services company Etteplan received a patent for its invention created through 3D printing: a motorcycle seat equipped with a moving mechanism – and its manufacturing method.

The invention has already been applied to the seat of competitive motorcycle driver Ulla Kulju’s racing motorcycle. In addition to racing, Ulla works as a Senior Design Engineer at Etteplan. The seat slides from side to side in line with the driver’s movements, assisting the driver in weight transfer at bends. The seat also moves backward, enabling the driver to be located behind the visor, which reduces wind resistance and improves speed.

The invention enables paraplegic drivers to shift their weight in a way that has not been possible to date. It also offers concrete benefits for racers: Ulla’s lap time improved by 6 seconds at Alastaro Circuit in southern Finland. “At the core of the invention is a complex moving mechanism that can only be manufactured using 3D printing. The mechanism is printed as one piece and cannot be disassembled. 3D printing allowed us to develop an entirely new type of solution, which is not possible using traditional manufacturing methods,” says Tero Hämeenaho, Etteplan’s Department Manager, Additive Manufacturing.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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