Barcelona-based BORN Motor Co. has a lot going on. Not only does it produce high-quality deconstructed motorcycles, the company also designs limited editions and upgrade kits for motorcycles, as well as serving as an industrial design studio that collaborates with several motorcycle manufacturers on aesthetic design. A great deal of careful work is done at the company and, until recently, BORN was using traditional fabrication techniques such as laser cutting and CNC machining to create custom pieces by hand.
Both of those techniques tend to be time-consuming and expensive, however, especially when it comes to short production runs like BORN produces. The company thought about investing in injection molds, but that just didn’t make sense considering the low volume of each production run. That left 3D printing.
BORN Motor Co. turned to BCN3D Technologies, maker of the Sigma 3D printer. The open source Sigma, updated for its 2017 release, is well-loved for its dual extruder, multi-color, multi-material technology, and that was the 3D printer BORN Motor Co. decided to go with for its motorcycle parts.
A company that boasts customization as one of its major services can easily run into a challenge without the right means of production. 3D printing is the perfect solution for producing one-off, individually designed parts, which BORN Motor Co. found when it began working with the Sigma 3D printer. Not only does the technology lend itself well to custom items, it also has allowed BORN to more quickly iterate versions of each part until arriving at the final one. In addition, the company found that there were fewer design limitations with 3D printing than there were with other technologies.
The Sigma’s multi-material capabilities allowed BORN Motor Co. to create end-use parts in different engineering-grade materials, including nylon, PET-G and ABS. Most people involved in the 3D printing industry have heard the refrain over and over again – 3D printing isn’t just for prototyping anymore, but it’s becoming very true. 3D printing functional end-use parts for something like a motorcycle is hardly something to bat an eye at anymore, though not long ago it would have been hard to believe.
BORN Motor Co. is taking full advantage of the material capabilities of today’s 3D printing technology, particularly those offered by the BCN3D Sigma. 3D printing has become a regular means of production at the facility now, with both internal and external parts being created on the 3D printer. Designers at BORN can now create more complex parts with much less time, effort, and cost; according to the company, since it began using 3D printing, it has saved about €2,000 on each motorcycle it modifies.
It’s not just money that BORN Motor Co. is saving, though. Time is valuable at the company, and previously the employees were spending a great deal of time handcrafting parts. Now they can make those parts much more quickly on a 3D printer and spend more time focusing on higher added-value parts. Overall, BORN Motor Co. has seen tremendous advantages having adopted 3D printing, reducing time to market and overall labor costs.
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