Full speed ahead! – Zortrax’s 3D printed motorbike
07 March 2017
Zortrax presented a motorcycle designed in-house and printed using its M200, and larger M300 machines.
This ambitious project demonstrated how additive manufacturing professional desktop technology can be combined with new warping-resistant material for use in the automotive industry.
Zortrax presented a real-world example of how 3D printing could be used for prototyping, even when it comes to creating robust industrial machines. The purpose of this project was not only to customise a motorcycle, but also to demonstrate the wide spectrum of the redesigning process.
The motorcycle model is based on a typical bike from so called middleweight-class. Motorcycles from the 600cc-class proved to be remarkably light and powerful, and have been very successful performing. Some of the models in this range even qualify for racing.
The production process
All the plastic elements of the prototype have been redesigned and 3D printed, including all fairings, tank casing, seat, windshield, lights and mirrors. Only the mechanical parts were not 3D printed.
The first stage of the production process was to disassemble the motorcycle. Then the design team began the 3D scanning and designing process. After the in-depth design work, Zortrax engineers began printing and joining the parts together, and then the mechanical treatment followed, which meant smoothing down, undercoating, grinding and painting the printed parts. The whole operation took about one month.
Michal Mosiej, Plastic Processing Specialist said every stage was a different challenge. The first was selecting a base model that the projected prototype would fit. Then, there was the complex 3D scanning process, which requires a tremendous amount of technical detail, to ensure it maintained the same dimensions as the scanned model. The most exciting part was the designing process and the assembly, keeping in mind that all the parts must fit perfectly.
The motorcycle is full-sized, fully functional and ready to drive, but since it is a prototype it is not supposed to be driven on the streets. Although the bike is actually not for sale, this case study validates the effectiveness of 3D printing in prototyping for the automotive industry.
This particular case demonstrates how designers can test their designs at an earlier stage in the process. For the industry, it is cost efficient and time saving. For customers, it guarantees the best possible design of the final product.
During the production process three types of filament were used:
• Z-HIPS for fairings and tank casing. This filament significantly reduces
warping and visibly shortens the time spent on post-processing.
• Z-GLASS for the lights, which has the ability to make an exact replica of
any project, even when it comes to translucent structures.
• Z-ULTRAT a strong, stable, and time-resistant material used in this case for binding elements.
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