Bicicletto is an electric vehicle that turns mobility into an art, by blending the motorbike attitude and the bicycle spirit. Now with a major 3D-printed upgrade, Bicicletto is set to blur the lines of classic design and high-tech engineering even further. The upgrade is the first offering from the collaboration between Materialise NV (NASDAQ: MTLS), leader in Additive Manufacturing solutions and software, and Nuova SPA, historical Italian automotive brand, reborn in 2014. The new Bicicletto will feature additive manufactured end-use parts that make it lighter, faster and more cost-efficient to produce.
The automotive industry has been an early adopter of Additive Manufacturing and a major driver of growth for the technology ever since. As an e-bike, however, Bicicletto stands out in this group. “3D Printing was a major contributor to our R&D process, it has made production easier, and it’s also helping us bring down costs,” says Julianto Imprescia, CEO, Nuova SPA. “Bringing Additive Manufacturing to an already-running design, like the Bicicletto, can be challenging but dedicated collaboration helped us achieve it. Working with Materialise has been a gift, particularly with respect to having Materialise’s decades of additive manufacturing expertise at our disposal.”
SPA, a Torino-based brand with great presence in luxury and sport automobiles, together with military and industrial vehicles, has a long history dating back to 1906. Now focused on combining innovation and luxury, Nuova SPA designs e-bikes and electric vehicles with an iconic vintage-inspired style. Bicicletto in particular is a sleek electric bike with elements that evoke classic motorbikes.
“For Additive Manufacturing to bring end-use parts to a premium e-bike like this, it takes more than just 3D printing facilities. It takes dedicated post-production, rigorous quality control, and in-house engineering expertise,” says Alessio Esposti, Account Manager, Materialise Italy. “With this collaboration, we look forward to broadening the horizons of the automotive industry through Additive Manufacturing.”
This partnership will allow Nuova SPA to develop new projects both for two-wheeler and four-wheeler vehicles. In particular, 3D Printing will support the realization of an off-road electric bike, which could be considered a new version of Bicicletto, and of a quadricycle. For Materialise, the partnership provides an opportunity to continuously meet higher industry standards at its Certified Additive Manufacturing facility, and thereby strengthen the role of Additive Manufacturing in automotive production.