3D printing is able to deliver more and more sophisticated design, from spacecraft parts to engine components, and even rad-looking motorcycles.
APWorks, a subsidiary of Airbus, recently showcased a light-weight, futuristic looking motorcycle that came straight out of a 3D printer.
The aptly named Light Rider packs a 3D printed frame that relies on APWorks' technology and proprietary aluminum alloy, which the company touts matches titanium in strength and durability.
After the frame was fitted with a suspension, a 6 kW electric motor and tires, the full weight of the motorcycle reached 35 kilograms (77 pounds).
Looking at what Light Rider can do, the manufacturer says the bike is a great alternative for commuting across town. The autonomy of the battery is 40 miles, and using a simple replacement will double the distance.
The motor vehicle is able to reach 30 mph in 3 seconds, and sports a top speed of 50 mph.
To summarize, the bike is a mash-up of electric vehicle with a cutting edge design. However, if there is one downside to the Light Rider, it is its price. The bike sells for $55,000, which puts it in the ballpark of some SUVs.
One reason why the motorcycle is whopping expensive is its scarcity, as only 50 bikes will come in the first production batch.
APWorks talks in detail about the 3D printing process, pointing out that each part of the bike was crafted using a system that melts and wields millions of aluminum alloy particles together.
A closer look at the frame shows that it resembles an "organic exoskeleton," and that is no mere coincidence. The organic looking design came straight from APWorks' algorithms that calculated the optimal weight-resistance output to create the most slender structure possible. It is visible that during the coding algorithm stage, the company focused on natural growth patterns and bionic structures.
Also, some of the parts of the frame are purposefully left hollow so that cables and pipes fit easily in them. This also helped take off some pounds off the overall vehicle.
APWorks' says that Scalmalloy, its proprietary material, is a corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy with titanium-grade resistance.
Light Rider may be the first 3D printed electric motorcycle, but it certainly is not the first 2-wheeler to go green. In October 2015, Energica Electric showcased an electric motorcycle that packs quite a punch.