The world’s first fully 3D printed electric motorcycle
German industrial 3D printing company BigRep revealed the Nera E-bike, an electric motorcycle that is almost entirely 3D printed.
Developed by Marco Mattia Cristofori and Maximilian Sedlak, part of the company’s innovation lab NOWlab, the bike’s rims, frame, fork, seat and even tires are 3D printed. The only things not made using additive manufacturing are the electrical components.
The Nera motorcycle combines several innovations developed by NOWlab, like the airless tire. In May this year, the company announced their ties, printed using TPU-based filament. Using complex geometries that would not be possible with traditional production techniques, the company was able to replace air and still keep de tires bouncy.
Other innovations integrated into the bike include a lightweight rhomboid wheel rim, as well as flexible bumpers (rather than suspension). The electric engine is hidden in the rear wheel and the batteries in the minimalist bodywork.
The parts of the motorcycle were printed on BigRep’s own large-scale 3D printers using ProHT, ProFLEX, PETH and PLA filaments.
“This bike and our other prototypes push the limits of engineering creativity and will reshape AM technology as we know it,” Daniel Büning of NOWlab explains.
Nera illustrates the benefits of 3D printing for the production of end-use parts, particularly for batch sizes between lot size one to small series. It reduces lead times and costs, optimises supply chains and limits dependency on supplier networks.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely you’ll be driving one soon. The Nera E-bike is strictly a proof-of-concept, made to demonstrate the production capabilities of 3D printing. The bike was on display at Formnext, the leading global exhibition and conference on additive manufacturing, from 13-16 November in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Photos: BigRep / NOWlab