Light Rider – World’s first 3D printed Motorcycle


From home décor to medical prosthetics, robotic parts to aircraft interiors, 3D printing is the future of manufacturing. APWorks, a 100% subsidiary of Airbus Group, has worked at the forefront of additive layer manufacturing (ALM) and advanced materials since its launch in 2013., APWorks produces bionically optimized metal parts for a wide range of industries, from aerospace to automotive and robotics. Its newest creation? The world’s first 3D-printed motorcycle, made using APWorks’ Scalmalloy® material, weighing in at a svelte 35 kg.

APWorks just announced the creation of the world’s first 3D-printed motorcycle that can actually be used as a daily rider. Aptly named the Light Rider, given that it weighs in at a mere 35 kg (77 lb), the electric-powered two-wheeler appears to be what would happen if H.R. Geiger designed a motorcycle. The company said the exoskeleton-like design of the Light Rider came from the need to make the frame structurally able to withstand the loads and stresses of everyday riding. Powered by a 6-kW (8-hp) electric motor with a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph), it may not be at home on the freeway, but can be used for daily city driving and commuting. The frame of the Light Rider weighs all of 6 kg (13 lb) and is made of a material created and patented by APWorks called Scalmalloy. This is a second-generation aluminum-magnesium-scandium alloy (AlMgS) that the company claims is stronger than the aluminum-silicon powder material used in most production-scale 3D printing today. The use of Scalmalloy allowed APWorks to create hollow rather than solid frame parts, which made it easier to hide most of the cables and other elements that might be more visible on a standard motorcycle. Bionic algorithms were also used to optimize the entire structure, resulting in a cleaner overall design and a finished bike that weighs 30 percent lighter than other eBikes currently in production.

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