There have been a number of electric motorcycles that have broken away from the traditional designs of their gas-powered brethren, including the Rocsie and Zeus. But what would happen if a moto was specifically designed for Fused Filament Fabrication printing? Germany's BigRep has debuted a number of automotive and e-mobility prototypes at this year's formnext additive manufacturing exhibition, including the world's first 3D-printed working electric motorcycle.
The 190 x 90 x 55 cm (74.8 x 35.4 x 21.6 in) Nera bike was designed by Marco Mattia Cristofori with Maximilian Sedlak from the company's Nowlab innovation consultancy and printed on BigRep's own large-scale 3D printers using ProHT, ProFLEX, PETH and PLA filaments through a 0.6 - 1 mm nozzle at a layer height of 0.4 - 0.6 mm.
"The Nera combines several innovations developed by Nowlab, such as the airless tire, functional integration and embedded sensor technology," said Nowlab's Daniel Büning. "This bike and our other prototypes push the limits of engineering creativity and will reshape AM technology as we know it."
Everything except the electrical components has been produced on a 3D printer – that includes the tires (with custom tread), rhomboid wheel rims, frame, fork and seat. The Nera bike also rocks flexible bumpers to replace the traditional suspension found in other motos.
Sadly, you won't see any Nera motorcycles zooming down a street near you, as this is just a design study. As such, we've no details about the drivetrain, range or performance.
Other prototypes on show in Frankfurt recently included the Omni Platform – which can serve as an automated carrier capable of hauling up to 200 kg (440 lb) of cargo around a manufacturing plant or as transport for industry machinery like robots – and an Adaptive Robot Gripper design inspired by geckos.
The short video below shows the Nera 3D-printed electric motorcycle in action.
Source: BigRep Nowlab