Airbus APWorks Produces 3D-Printed Motorcycle
OTTOBRUNN, Germany, May 27, 2016 — Airbus APWorks GmbH has launched the world’s first 3D-printed motorcycle.
Each 3D-printed part of the Light Rider’s frame is produced using a selective 3D laser printing system that melts millions of aluminum alloy particles together, consisting of thousands of thin layers just 60 μm thick.
The motorcycle weighs 35 kg with a 6-kW electric motor. The frame parts are hollow, allowing for integrated cables, pipes and screw-on points in the finalized motorcycle structure. The result is a 30 percent weight reduction over conventionally manufactured motorcycles.
The company used a proprietary corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy, Scalmalloy, for the frame. Specifically developed for additive laser manufacturing-based production, the material combines high strength with high ductility, making it ideal for lightweight robotics, automotive and aerospace applications.
“The complex and branched hollow structure couldn’t have been produced using conventional production technologies such as milling or welding,” said Joachim Zettler, CEO of Airbus APWorks. “Advances in additive layer manufacturing have allowed us to realize the bionic design we envisioned for the motorcycle without having to make any major changes. With these technologies, the limitations facing conventional manufacturing disappear.”
Airbus APWorks is a provider of metallic 3D printing technologies and materials.
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