Headquartered in San Diego, Robo is a leading manufacturer in desktop 3D printers—and their versatility within the industry has become obvious over the past few years, evidenced in their detailed case studies as they have worked closely with their customers around the world. The last time we checked in with the innovative team, they had released an educational study based on their 3D printers being used in a fifth-grade classroom, and launched an Earth Day design contest to use 3D printing for the (literal) good of the world. Now, shift into high gear—and learn more about how Robo 3D printers have made a lasting impact at a small motorcycle shop that builds custom bikes in Plano, Texas.
Sofi Tsingos began riding dirt bikes at the tender age of nine but moved on to street bikes as soon as she was able. And while Sofi and her team (to include father George) are all about creating and enjoying motorcycles, they have developed a deep respect for technology that can help them build better parts faster, more affordably, and best of all, without a middleman. Upon discovering the wonders of 3D printing at a local makerspace and realizing the technology would probably be well-suited to creating motorcycle parts, Sofi purchased a Robo R1+ for GT-Moto, upgrading to the Robo R2 several years later.
“When we first saw a 3D printer and realized that we could put one on our desk and just design and immediately produce a part, we knew that was it. Motorcycle parts are typically small and can definitely fit on the R2. And I can actually afford it. It was perfect for us!” said Sofi.
The first 3D printer actually made its entrance into the GT-Moto garage/shop as a Christmas gift for GT-Moto’s design and modeling expert, Ross Freehling. Now, like so many other designers, engineers, and hobbyists around the world, Sofi and the team can enjoy the enormous benefits of 3D printing—which are also the results of Robo successfully fulfilling their mission to provide others with both accessibility and affordability.
As Sofi’s father George points out, 3D printing is a gamechanger because it allows them to make so many iterations (for pennies rather than thousands) on their own, easily refining designs for their unique parts, in-house.
“3D printing really makes it easy to take ideas and turn them into a physical item to place onto the motorcycle. In a matter of hours and at basically no cost, since we were able to do this at our shop, we no longer need to deal with the high costs and slow lead times associated with outsourcing jobs. Plus, lots of time has also been saved by not having to communicate back and forth during the prototyping phase,” added Ross Freehling.
George’s battle with cancer was also a catalyst for Sofi’s purchase of the progressive new technology that allowed them to begin a new journey in building bikes together. Once he was diagnosed, she thought that working on a new project together would help him get out of his mind and body more and distract him in a positive way. She was right—and now they still build a custom bike each year, selling it for charity and donating the proceeds to cancer research.
After a few years, Sofi upgraded to the Robo R2, allowing them to take advantage of numerous new features—especially Wi-Fi capability. As time has passed, they have found that 3D printing has helped them overcome many expenses that were caused with measurements and accuracy in parts. Not only that, they are able to make parts with a natural carbon fiber texture that look great as is without any post-production sanding or finishing.
“Technology is going to make a huge difference with how many pieces of metal are going to wind up in the trash for us, and how many hours and hours are spent building something just to find that it is garbage,” said George.
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Source / Images: Robo]