Sep 4, 2014 | By Alec

The very talented and ambitious designer Jacky Wan (aka Valcrow), who is part of the ever creative team behind Redicubrick, has just revealed his latest awe-inspiring 3D printing project: A scale model of the 2013 Ducati 1199 Superbike.

Original model

3D printed model

Dedicated readers of this website will have seen a number of Valcrow's very creative and inspiring 3D printing projects in the past, like his heart-warming Sarah's Jenner MechWarrior in 2013 and his futuristic Obi-Wan Lightsaber earlier this year. However, this scale model Ducati is on another level entirely, and is truly a testimony to the potential of 3D printing technology.

It consists of over 40 individually designed parts, which are all made with an Ultimaker Original 3D printer. Its many parts are printed and painted separately – using enamels, acrylics and lacquer paints – after which they were assembled with superglue. As Valcrow explained on his site, 'it is the most ambitious print we've designed so far. Along with Ultimaker, we wanted to show Ducati just how versatile their printers are. From on the spot customized printed key chains, to complex fully realized scale models of their product.'

As Valcrow explained, he set out with four self-imposed goals:

  • Be as true as possible to the original design on the exterior.
  • Snap fit (for alignment only) so that it could be easily glued.
  • No excess seams or grooves
  • Printable on my UM:O with no supports (where possible)

And as all of our readers that have ever worked on a 3D printing project will verify, a miniature motorcycle will surely be accompanied by some difficulties along the way. And it did: Its suspended pieces, the very thin (and therefore easily breakable) chains and handlebars and small attachment points all caused problems during the printing process. The windshield, in particular, was a challenge and it turned out to be impossible to include without using some custom supports.

This was in the forefront of the bike so it needed to be as clean as possible. At the same time it had no flat surface on which to sit, and no angle where it didn't need support. The solution was not obvious. I eventually settled on some custom supports which allowed the windshield maximum resolution.

painted with enamels, acrylics and lacquer paints.

All of this put together made it a challenging, but all the more impressive project for Valcrow, who even commented that 'A motorcycle exhibits all the characteristics that make it difficult for FDM printing...The easy way out would have been to use supports and combine many parts together to eliminate the internal grooves, but I was determined to keep it authentic and clean looking. Which meant many, many small and separate parts.'

The designer further complicated things through the tight deadline he was working with. This meant he had to simultaneously print and design parts:

In order to meet the deadline, I printed pieces as I finished them so I would always have a part printing as I was modelling the next piece. Having this many parts created unique challenges as I had to design components to be forward compatible with any interconnects I was planning to make. So in my mind, I was a few pieces ahead of my designing, which was ahead of modelling, which was ahead of my printing. It was a lot to keep track of... I continued to fit parts as I printed them to ensure proper tolerance and contact. Some pieces required minor filing/sanding. Very rarely did I have to re-print a part. Everything fit as it did in my modeling package, so I was sure my printer was printing true.

Partial assembly with superglue. Check out that awesome chain. The gear teeth actually fits in the grooves on the links!

And the results are certainly very impressive. While not only achieving his personal printing goals, Valcrow also definitely demonstrates the potential a regular Ultimaker printer holds, even where it concerns highly complex and detailed creations.

Ambitious readers are invited to make themselves a scale model, which have been made available on YouMagine. However, Valcrow advises that only intermediate to advanced 3D printers and modellers try to tackle this model for now as some parts require some special attention. Next month this initial release will be followed by a more beginner-friendly version of this very cool 3D printing project.

Check out the pictures of 3D printed scale model of Ducati 119 Superbike below:


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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alan wrote at 9/5/2014 3:38:06 PM:


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