The automotive world has seen several 3D printed developments, including parts for motorcycles and even almost-entirely 3D printed motorcycles. The Nera electric motorcycle, a new creation from BigRep’s Nowlab, is 100 percent 3D printed, however, right down to its airless tires – except for its electrical components. The flashy-looking motorbike is impressive to look at, and it’s even more impressive that it was specifically designed for FDM 3D printing. The Nera motorcycle, which measures 190 x 90 x 55 cm (74.8 x 35.4 x 21.6 in), was 3D printed on BigRep’s large-scale 3D printers using ProHT, ProFLEX, PETH and PLA filaments through a 0.6 – 1 mm nozzle at a layer height of 0.4 – 0.6 mm.
Designed by Marco Mattia Cristofori and Maximilian Sedlak, the motorcycle was 3D printed in 15 pieces. The tires, seat, fork, rims, frame and fork were all 3D printed, believe it or not, and it runs on an electric engine embedded in the back rim. The battery is housed within the body of the motorcycle. Flexible bumpers replace the traditional suspension found in other motorcycles.
“The Nera combines several innovations developed by Nowlab, such as the airless tire, functional integration and embedded sensor technology,” said Nowlab’s Daniel Büning. “This bike and our other prototypes push the limits of engineering creativity and will reshape AM technology as we know it.”
With its aerodynamic design and sleek, sharp appearance, the Nera is attractive and looks like it would be incredibly fun to ride – but unfortunately it’s only a design study; you won’t be seeing it on the road anytime soon. But as a study, the Nera is an encouraging and impressive look at what 3D printing is capable of doing. Yes, it is possible to entirely 3D print a motorcycle, so who’s to say that we won’t be seeing bikes like this on the road before too long? The advantages of 3D printing motorcycle parts are plenty – the technology isn’t just a novelty. 3D printed automotive components can be made more quickly, more lightweight, and often in fewer pieces than traditional manufacturing methods are capable of. Lighter weight means better fuel efficiency, if you’re using fuel, but combining 3D printing with an electric motor, like the Nera does, makes for an environmentalist’s dream.
Nowlab has been responsible for several other fascinating 3D printed creations, such as a smart concrete wall, a recyclable and biodegradable table, and more. Nowlab is dedicated to exploring innovative concepts using BigRep’s 3D printers, and prides itself on going beyond traditional solutions. The Nera is anything but traditional, and its appeal lies greatly in its novel design, as well as in the fact that it was created using non-traditional means. There are already some 3D printed bicycles out on the road, and it won’t be a huge surprise if 3D printed motorcycles soon follow suit – now that it’s been shown that it can be done.
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