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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | BigRep unveils world’s first fully 3D-printed E-Motorcycle
BigRep unveils world’s first fully 3D-printed E-Motorcycle
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November 27, 2018
BigRep, 3D printing thought and innovation leader, has unveiled the world’s first fully (FFF) 3D printed, functional E-Motorcycle and bionic passenger seat. Opening a new dimension for additive manufacturing (AM), these prototypes designed by NOWLAB, the BigRep innovation consultancy, and printed on BigRep’s large-scale 3D printers, include two groundbreaking prototypes for e-mobility applications: the world’s first fully 3D-printed and functional electric motorcycle, the NERA, and a bionic passenger seat, the Aero Seat.
Advancing applications in AM are two other new prototypes, the Adaptive Robotic Gripper, designed for flexible handling applications, and the Omni Platform, a 360° mobile industry platform for fully automated manufacturing environments.
"These exciting prototypes not only demonstrate the unprecedented capacity of FFF large-scale 3D printing technology in additive manufacturing. They also emphasise our unique ability as the market’s innovation and thought leader to bring cutting-edge technologies from design to reality, providing a market value added lead for our industrial customers,” said Stephan Beyer, CEO of BigRep GmbH.
Using 3D printing technology for cutting-edge e-mobility solutions, NOWLAB has developed the world’s first fully (FFF) 3D-printed and functional e-motorcycle, the NERA e-motorcycle. As a distinction from similar prototypes, all NERA parts, excluding electrical components, have been 3D-printed, including tires, rims, frame, fork and seat.
"The NERA combines several innovations developed by NOWLAB, such as the airless tire, functional integration and embedded sensor technology. This bike and our other prototypes push the limits of engineering creativity and will reshape AM technology as we know it,” explained Daniel Büning, Co-founder and Managing Director of NOWLAB.
NERA illustrates the massive benefits that 3D printing offers for the production of end-use parts, particularly for batch sizes between lot size one to small series by reducing lead times and costs, optimising supply chains, and limiting dependency on supplier networks.
In building NERA, the engineers didn’t simply adapt existing motorcycle designs, but instead envisioned a bike for large-format FFF technology, setting a benchmark for truly creative design; breaking the limits of traditional mechanical engineering. Among the many innovations featured in NERA are the airless tires with customised tread; a lightweight rhomboid wheel rim, flexible bumpers (instead of suspension) and the electric engine, which is fitted in a customisable case.
Another prototype for an e-mobility application is NOWLAB’s Aero Seat, based on aerospace developments and game-changing passenger seat designs for autonomous driving technology. This exciting seat shell design has an almost bionic touch, look, and feel as the seat adapts to the driver’s individual body shape: using a 3D body scan prior to the seat production, the shell will provide its users with an unprecedented level of comfort to reduce the stress and physical discomfort of long-distance travel. Last but not least, flexible material (TPU) was used for printing the seat cushions, which molds to the passenger’s body shape. In addition, they are attached to the shell using only a few fixing points to reduce vibrations.
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