Just a few years ago, 3D printing capability was relatively new technology. A home 3D printer could perhaps create a single printed letter or figure if left to work overnight. Advancements in the industry have been fast and furious with new technology offering recognizably sci-fi-like options. While companies have made news with efforts to print homes for a solution to housing shortages or printed skin in the name of medical advancement, one company has created a prototype that proves transportation could be the next evolution of 3D printing.
Created thanks to the advanced technology of a high-capacity printer, the NERA 3D-printed motorcycle prototype is the first fully functional model of its kind. NOWlab, the innovation department at BigRep, is the creative force behind the design. Based out of Germany, the company is putting tracks down as the world’s leader in large-scale 3D printers.
The NERA was manufactured to show the potential of these printers. Note that the motorcycle is a prototype only and not for sale to the public. However, there is much to be learned from the prototype itself and it leans towards limitless potential in the industry. Components of the NERA are almost hard to comprehend when you realize that it all came out of a printer, far from the traditional production line of Yamaha or Harley Davidson.
Literally from the ground up, this motorcycle has all non-electrical printed parts, 15 in all, that include tires, rim, frame, fork and seat. Not only are the parts printed, but they are stylistic and performance-based. For example, the airless tires with customized tread offer a design of strength and support. The rims are lightweight but durable, providing a smooth ride. Eight pivot joints provide forkless steering for easy maneuverability. Another unique engineering development is the lack of suspension, replaced by flexible bumpers. The Nera (N)ew (ERA) is powered by an electric engine, fitted into a customizable case.
We wouldn’t expect the company to stop driving innovation forward at any point soon with a focus on potential future uses of large-scale 3D printer capacity.
“These exciting prototypes not only demonstrate the unprecedented capacity of FFF large-scale 3D printing technology in Additive Manufacturing,” said Stephan Beyer, PhD, CEO of BigRep GmbH. “They also emphasize our unique ability as the market’s innovation and thought leader to bring cutting-edge technologies from design to reality, providing an added-value market lead for our industrial customers.”
Images via BigRep GmbH