Volkswagen’s Ducati to Use Roboze 3D Printing on Superbikes

Metal AM Markets

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Roboze, an Italian manufacturer of high-temperature 3D printers, has partnered with the Ducati Corse team for the 2022 season. This will mean that, as a technical partner, Roboze will supply its printers and PEEK, PEEK CF, and other materials for use by the Ducati Corse team on its superbikes.

The Ducati Lenovo team’s Desmosedici GP superbikes.

“We have been working with Roboze for more than a year now and thanks to Roboze’s 3D printing technology for super polymers and composites we have been able to significantly speed up the production of aerodynamic components with incredible mechanical properties. We are very happy with this technical partnership and plan to increase the use of their technology given the encouraging results obtained,” said Riccardo Savin, Ducati Corse Vehicle Dynamics and Design Manager.

“We are pleased with this statement of esteem. We are constantly working to increase the performance of our super materials and the speed of our 3D printers. Supporting Ducati Corse in MotoGP makes us really proud. Working side by side with Ducati Corse technicians has allowed us to learn their needs very well. We are now ready to give our best and support them to achieve important results together,” offered Alessio Lorusso, Roboze CEO.

Ducati Corse is, naturally, Ducati’s racing team division, which competes in the MotoGP and Superbike World Championships. So far, Roboze has made parts for the fairing and heat shield on the Desmosedici GP. This is the vehicle for the Ducati Lenovo team. The team hopes to use Roboze 3D printing for end-use components, as well as models.

Roboze’s Argo 500 3D printer. Image courtesy of Roboze.

I think that this is an excellent partnership. 3D printing has long been used in F1 and other racing classes for wind tunnel models, mirror components, steering wheels, manifolds, electrical wiring components, seat components, body panels, spoilers and all manner of other parts. By iterating one-off components quickly and cheaply, 3D printing is an ideal technology for the fast-moving engineering teams in motorsports. By enabling lightweight components, we can make cars or bikes faster, as well.

The functional integration of 3D printed components and reductions in part count could also be very beneficial. There’s also the possibility of redesigning a component so that it requires fewer fasteners or can be removed faster during a pit stop that can also offer significant advantages. One can expect a lot more aerodynamic components in the future from our technology. Engine components can often be improved by AM, as well.

Ducati and the MotoGP both match the swagger and poise of Roboze. The company is sure to be pushed a lot to perform by Ducati Corse. Engineers will be prodded to make printers and materials go further than they have. Roboze´s components will now be tested in such a high stakes environment. In turn, Roboze will receive this sometimes uncomfortable but ultimately rewarding experience. 

At the same time, the company has touted its technology as capable of 3D printing polymer parts in place of metal counterparts. Racing is one area where this is very possible and can lead to very direct and noticeable results for autosports teams.

Ducati is also a subsidiary of Audi, which is poised to use 3D printing at scale across its enterprise and the dueling-sisters that is the Volkswagen Group. To get one noticed within the huge Volkswagen conglomerate, where every branch from Bentley to VW proper is increasing its use of AM, would be a tangible benefit to Roboze. This would allow the Italian firm to chip away at what SmarTech Analysis projects to be a $2.7 billion industry in North American and Europe by 2030, according to its recent report, The Market for Additive Manufactured Polymer Automotive Parts: Europe and North America Regions.

Race on Sunday; sell on Monday! 

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