Oh, the scooter. This is one machine the lot of us have at one time or another admired, imagining ourselves riding or owning, from the banged up city-wise model weaving in and out of traffic directed by a savvy local to the shiny and more pricey Vespa, a status symbol on two wheels. The scooter invokes the image of youth, vitality, and adventure–as well as freedom from tradition–and gas prices.
These vehicles are plentiful in areas where individuals just don’t want to deal with cars, whether for economical or environmental reasons–or both. Aside from safety issues, which are definitely a consideration, as these are similar to smaller, slower motorcycles, the scooter has numerous benefits. Couple that with being able to 3D print one of these two-wheeled vehicles, and the popularity should consider to rise.
From sunburned tourists in Key West riding along the bay side at sunset to sophisticated locals in Milan speeding confidently through the streets in the chaos of rush hour, everyone enjoys the sense of independence that scooters offer–and technology can now take that all much further.
Form and function usually go together with the modern scooter, the metropolitan choice of many–and the technology of 3D printing is most likely a very good fit with this market, as its benefits parallel most everything that scooter enthusiasts are seeking.
Touted by designer Josep Bolart as “simply a nice idea,” his 3D printed scooter, bearing the attractive name ‘Paolo,’ could make a huge difference for many in the area of transportation–and especially if they already have a making and tinkering background.
Bolart, hailing from Barcelona, has been interested in two-wheel design for twenty years, and sees his latest creation for urban mobility as a viable option which may become a reality by 2016. His design for Paolo is austere but sleek, minimalist but highly functional. Best of all, it makes the world of scooters even more affordable, allowing for enormous accessibility in transportation on every level from attaining one of the scooters to customizing and maintaining it in a completely self-sustainable manner.
- 2 kW motor with 50 Nm (36.8 lb-ft) of torque
- Regenerative front brakes with dual-mode
- Watertight rear hub motor
- Integrated battery pack and electronics
- Adjustable saddle, headlights, handlebars
- Monoshock and air-ride system
- Ability to communicate with iPhone or smartwatch
If you know any bike enthusiasts, then you are probably aware of how they love to fiddle, modify, and re-fit nearly everything. The concept for Paolo fits in perfectly with this lifestyle as Bolart sees the scooter as being made from a machined aluminum frame that could actually be composed of recycled metal, plastic, or other materials. Most of the parts could be 3D printed from home, and this of course is where the magic lies in being able to trick out your own scooter in terms of colors and other customizations that allow you to stand out on the street. This could also allow for more safety with the use of bright colors, additional lights, etc.
Have you made any 3D printed parts for a scooter or vehicle or created–or envisioned–something similar to this? Do you see this as something that could realistically catch on in the scooter culture? Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Printed Motor Scooter forum thread over at 3DPB.com.