One Italian manufacturing company is using 3D printing techniques to create art, satellites and even an electric motorcycle. In Modena, the homeland of the Italian Motor Valley, the first Italian electric motorcycle Energica Ego has been created. It has been built with F1 technologies.
Using selective laser sintering technology and Windform, a polyamide-based material reinforced with carbon fibers, CRP Group is able to create fairings, headlight covers and motorcycle components apart from the mechanical and electrical parts. The Windform line is resistant to water, oils and stress, and this allows for the creation of highly-functional and beautifully finished parts suitable for multiple applications.
The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections, generated from a 3D digital file's description of the part, on to the surface of a powder bed. After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one indexed layer thickness, then a new layer of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed. The 3D printed prototypes and functional parts were then metallized and painted.
Energica Ego is the first Italian electric motorcycle that recalls traditional endothermal motorcycles that can reach 240km/h and can ride up to 150 km. The batteries charge takes less than three hours with AC and a half an hour with DC. Energica Ego is also equipped with a KERS braking system that allows it to recover useful energy for use by the motorcycle like F1 cars. Several patents have been registered for this project which is unique in its class.
Energica Ego will be available for purchase in 2015 with ABS and it will be manufactured with traditional productive technologies. The 3D-printed parts made of Windform, such as the fairing will be built with the suitable technologies of mass production. All metal parts such as the engine frame, the forks and the battery pack will be built with casted aluminum.
Finally, the CRP Group will bring to the market a version of the Energica Ego without fairing. This model is built with 3D printing and Windform materials. This prototype is in the study and research phase to check the design, the aerodynamic and the specifications, and will make its debut soon.
Watch the video below to see how the technology works and why more companies are exploring it.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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