When you think of something on two wheels with a motor, chances are it’s fast, heavy, highly dangerous, and takes an entire assembly line to construct. What if you just needed a 3D printer? Well, 3D printer production company BigRep and their NOWLAB innovation branch are bringing us something lighter, sleeker and (almost) completely 3D printed.
The NERA is the first mostly 3D printed e-motorcycle in the world constructed by Marco Mattia Cristofori in collaboration with Maximilian Sedlak. It’s ‘almost’ and ‘mostly’ 3D printed because, barring the electrical components and engine which make the bike actually run, everything from the tires, rim
The NERA combines several innovations developed by NOWLAB, such as the airless tire, functional integration and embedded sensor technology. This bike and our other prototypes push the limits of engineering creativity and will reshape AM technology as we know it.”Daniel Büning, Co-founder and Managing Director of NOWLAB
Notable features of the bike include its lightweight parts, hole-filled airless tires, and embedded electronics all designed to reduce weight, add efficiency, look cool and not interfere with the motorcycle’s overall aesthetic.
After watching the video, you have to wonder just how stable a reduced-weight, 3D printed bike really is. While its many angles provide a sleeker appearance, the stance puts the rider higher up with noticeable wobble during acceleration and normal driving.
The hefty bodies of traditional motorcycles help to lower the center of gravity and keep the driver balanced and stuck to the road when accelerating and driving at high speeds. A light-weight motorcycle with a higher center of gravity, regardless of being 3D printed, could have the bike and its rider flying through the air in adverse, or even normal, weather conditions.
However, the project is only in the prototyping stage and will likely go through more iterations to make it safer, should it get to the prospect of mass production. Even more, the NERA innovations are numerous and a testament to the potential that 3D printing still holds for transportation. If the not-too-distant future allows us to print our own vehicles, then who’s to argue with that?