Nov 23, 2016 | By Julia

Divergent 3D, the company which brought us the first 3D printed supercar, Blade, has just become a new contender in the world of custom motorcycles. Meet the Dagger: the bold new superbike with a 3D printed chassis, unveiled last week at the annual LA Auto Show.

Built on a custom frame using 3D printed nodes with carbon tubing, the Dagger recalls the same technology that formed the basis of Divergent 3D’s earlier 3D printed supercars. Company CEO Kevin Czinger boasts that the unique carbon fiber structure is 50% lighter than traditional motorcycle parts, meaning a safer, sturdier frame for the road. A huge leap from the original Kawasaki welded tube frame, The Dagger features a cross-over X and an extra thin rear arm that runs down to the bottom of the 200-plus horsepower Kawasaki H2 engine. Currently, Divergent 3D is focusing its 3D printing resources mainly on the frame: the tank, swingarm, and trellis frame are entirely 3D printed, but the motor is straight from the original Kawasaki H2 supercharged sportbike.

The Dagger marks a key shift for Divergent 3D’s strategy: expansion into two-wheeled territory. Up until now, we knew Divergent 3D best for the Blade, a 3D printed supercar unveiled last summer. Since then, the San Francisco-based company has joined forces with larger auto manufacturers like the French PSA group, with the aim of bringing 3D printing to the automotive world. “We did it just to show we can do a very wide range of very cool vehicles,” Czinger explained of the new superbike release. “The partnership with PSA group is to bring about standard vehicles built on our technology in the next few years.”

Not the first motorcycle to employ 3D printing in its manufacturing process, the Dagger joins the likes of Airbus’ 3D printed APWORKS Light Rider and the Energetica Ego, but marks Divergent 3D’s first foray into the world of superbikes.

The shift in strategy may be more important for Divergent 3D than the Dagger model itself, which currently lacks fenders, bodywork, dash, headlights, and other road gear. Still, the 3D printing startup is keen to show how far its manufacturing platform has come. Czinger told media that the Dagger shows Divergent 3D’s manufacturing process has potentially limitless applications: "we have a front end where we can develop a vehicle within a wide range, from a motorcycle to a truck.” According to Czinger, “It’s a platform that will allow you to design, manufacture and assemble a wide range of vehicles.”

Blade 3D printed supercar

Ultimately, Czinger hopes to revolutionize the road by creating a more diverse automotive landscape. Key to this is the more easily accessible supply chain afforded by the 3D printing process, which opens the door for smaller companies to contend with major manufacturers. "The ultimate vision is years from now, because of lowered costs, we’re going to go from tens of car companies globally to thousands using this platform," he said. As a potential new industry standard, Divergent 3D’s printing process shows “how creative and diverse and divergent you can be if you have the tools and a low cost way to build cool stuff." Expect a lot more of that creative engineering in the months and years to come.

3D printed chassis parts on display

Photos from Divergent Technologies Inc.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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