Jan 6, 2015 | By Alec

We sometimes come across gigantic 3D printing projects that send your imagination racing, but these generally involve an equally large 3D printer. Just this week we’ve seen an actual lawnmower being printed with a garage-filling machine. Seeing those contraptions and then glancing towards your own desktop FDM printer can be a bit of a dream shattering experience.

But don’t let the size of your print bed rule your artistic ambitions! That is exactly what the Canadian-born modern artist Jonathan Brand, who is based in New York and Connecticut, has proven with a recent project. Armed with a regular Ultimaker 3D printer as his brush, he has produced an absolutely stunning life-sized replica of a 1972 Honda CB500 motorcycle. While it doesn’t contain a motor and can’t actually be ridden, ever part that is supposed to move on an actual motorcycle even moves on this fantastic creation.

Jonathan decided to make this gorgeous replica as he always dreamed of owning one, but he never had the means or opportunity to buy an actual one. ‘The motorcycle came about because I always wanted to own a motorcycle, but life circumstances always got in the way.’ He said. His recent attempt to purchase one was thwarted by the birth of his son, so he eventually turned to 3D printing.

As Jonathan explained, he was hardly a 3D printing expert when he began working on this project. ‘I didn’t start 3D printing until about three years ago. And then shortly after I came up with idea of 3D printing a full, life-sized motorcycle.’ He said. He got in touch with Ultimaker, who provided him with the means to produce this stunning creation.

He specifically chose them because they were one of the most innovative 3D printing companies at the time. ‘ What originally interested me with Ultimaker is that at the time, when I contacted them two years ago, it had the biggest build volume and fasted printing ability. It’s open source, so users have uploaded custom parts to the printers or all the source files for the printer is online, allowing me to design and engineer my own parts for it. […] I was able to highly customize the printer for my own output.’

Jonathan explained that the printing process largely consisted of designing and 3D printing hundreds of thin sheets of PLA shapes. ‘Everything is printed really really thin, so that it retains its transparency. To do that, it required printing these really large prints that take a long time to print.'

Every section is approximately just a millimetre thick, and have been carefully welded (or melted) together. This means the whole motorcycle is quite vulnerable, but this level of thinness was necessary to safeguard its translucency. Even at this thickness, however, the motorcycle consumed approximately 18 kilograms of PLA filament.

So who says that the size of your print bed determines the size of the objects you make? Even a regular desktop printer can be used to make a 82 x 32 x 50 inch motorcycle.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Nick Gordon wrote at 12/22/2016 8:49:01 PM:

It's a CB750 Honda

a chill bro wrote at 1/12/2016 3:18:34 PM:

cool bike bro

Morgan Freeman wrote at 1/11/2016 8:57:44 PM:


Herp Derp-JOhnson wrote at 1/11/2016 8:57:16 PM:


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