Startup Carboni e Metalli wins award for custom motorcycle with carbon fiber and titanium 3D printed parts

AM service provider Beam-IT supplied the metal 3D printed parts for the Lunar Project bike

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.

 

Davide Sher

Since 2002, I have built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, I spent 12 years in the United States, where I received my Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree. As a journalist covering the tech industry - especially the videogame industry - for over 10 years, I began covering the AM industry specifically in 2013, as blogger. In 2016 I co-founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial, and market analysis & consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, and leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. I am also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

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