3D printing is becoming a big thing and the industry is always looking for new products to make and new ways to promote itself.
But is the world ready for a 3D printed motorcycle?
German firm NOWlab, an arm of BigRep (they make 3D printers and printing materials) think so, at least in concept. And to quiet doubters like me, they’ve made a video to prove that it’s possible to make a (more or less) fully-functioning motorcycle by 3D printing everything but the electrical components.
They had to get pretty innovative to pull it off, including putting the electric motor in the rear wheel rim and the battery within the frame itself. And yes, even the (solid, airless) tires are printed — although I wouldn’t volunteer to be the first to ride on them in the wet.
Among the innovations on the NERA E-motorcycle:
– rhomboid wheels rims
– forkless steering with eight pivot points
– no shock, it’s replaced by a “flexible parametric bumper”
– custom-fitted seat and chest rest
– programmable smart LED headlight and taillights
Does it really work? Unless the video at the bottom of this story has been doctored, apparently so. I assume, though, that reasonable questions could be asked about the durability of the materials used to make the machine. And about the grip of those tires (made with a hexagonal design, for strength.)
Still, whacky or reasonable, the world’s first 3D motorcycle is undeniably interesting, if nothing else.
Watch it actually rolling in this promotional video.