Carboni e Metalli, an innovative startup based in the heart of the Italian Motorvalley, worked with metal AM service provider Beam IT to create a radical concept motorcycle using several metal 3D printed parts. Named Lunar Project, as it pays homage to the successes of the Apollo missions, the bike was presented at the 2019 Wildays in Italy and took home the “BEST OF SHOW” award for the best motorcycle.
3D printing motorcycle parts using aerospace AM technology is not an entirely new concept, In 2018, then Airbus subsidiary (subsequently acquired by Premium AeroTEC) APWORKS used metal AM to create the first 3D printed motorcycle in 2016. That, however, was an electric motorcycle, which presents fewer (or different) challenges than integrating AM in a thermal engine system. Also noticeable is the more recent and gorgeous Fuller Moto 2029. However, this is a highly customizable product, almost a work of art. Carboni e Metalli’s project is more accessible and closer to real production, integrating not only metal AM but also composites.
“In 1969, mankind first stepped on the Moon. Now, 50 years later, we wanted to pay homage to that historic achievement doing what we do best in this part of the world: combining unique materials and advanced technologies with artisanal craftsmanship and passionate design” said Massimo Bercella, co-founder of Carboni e Metalli. Michele Antolotti, the other half of the company and General Manager at Beam IT, added that “Our footprint is on hi-tech manufacturing processes and we wanted to show the impact of Space-related techniques into a traditional market such as the Motorcycles.”
The Lunar Project bike is based on an old KTM 250GS. The bike has been reimagined with a futuristic approach, combining vintage details such as a steel frame and a massive 2-stroke engine, with the most advanced technologies currently available on Earth, such as carbon fiber composites and metal additively manufactured parts, in structural applications such as a carbon fiber subframe, a world-first carbon fiber and 3D printed titanium rear swingarm, and the 3D printed aluminum front fork mounts to name a few.
“This project is a statement: we wanted to show that even a mature product such a motorcycle can be innovated by applying space-related technologies and design freedom” concluded the duo. “The technological return from the Apollo program was huge, and we felt the urge to do our part in celebrating the greatest conquer in the history of mankind, now that we stand at the dawn of a new era of space explorations. Winning the Best of Show Award came unexpected and motivates us to the next steps”.
The company will now showcase the bike at a series of events during 2019, while actively working on several new projects.