Belgium-based Materialise, a global leader in additive manufacturing software and solutions, is doing pretty well for itself. At formnext 2016 earlier this month, they released an enhanced version of their design optimization software 3-matic11 and a new version of their signature data prep software Magics21, and also made the announcement that they were adding the new HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer to their facility. So they’ve been pretty busy…and it doesn’t look they’re planning on taking a break, either.
Today, they announced a new partnership with Italian automobile brand Nuova Società Piemontese Automobili (SPA). This means that the Nuova SPA electric bicycle Bicicletto is getting a 3D printed upgrade!The Bicicletto is a fully electric vehicle that blends the attitude of the motorbike with the spirit of the bicycle. The upgrade, which is the first offering from Nuova SPA’s new partnership with Materialise, will blend the lines of high-tech engineering and classic design even more, as the additive manufactured end-use parts will make the Bicicletto lighter, faster, and more cost-efficient to produce. The automotive industry jumped on the additive manufacturing boat quickly and never wavered, becoming a major player in the technology’s growth. However, as the Bicicletto is an e-bike and not a car, it is somewhat of a standout in the industry.
Torino-based brand Nuova SPA, whose parent company of Fiat may ring a bell, dates back to the early 1900s. They specialize in all sorts of automobiles, from luxury and sports cars, to military and industrial vehicles as well. They were reborn in 2014, and are now working with cutting-edge technologies and materials and applying them to vehicle propulsion, while also designing their e-bikes and other electric vehicles with a vintage-inspired style. You can definitely see this in the Bicicletto, a sleek offering that calls to mind 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. With this collaboration, we look forward to broadening the horizons of the automotive industry through Additive Manufacturing,” explained Alessio Esposti, Account Manager, Materialise Italy.
“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.”
Materialise, with almost three decades of 3D printing experience, aims to build innovative 3D printing applications that will help make the world a better place. Their manufacturing division, Materialise Manufacturing, works closely with their customers to co-create new products that make meaningful use of the high-tech 3D printing world. This new and improved version of the Bicicletto is just the beginning of a beautiful, long-term manufacturing relationship with Nuova SPA, with both companies coming out on top. Materialise has the opportunity to bolster the role of additive manufacturing in the world of automotive production, while Nuova SPA gains assistance in developing new 3D printed projects, such as a quadricycle and an off-road electric bike. Discuss in the Bicicletto forum at 3DPB.com.