There is an apt reason why we thought the ridiculous Bugatti Chiron, that was built with Lego, was a monstrosity, while a fully functional 3D printed motorcycle is revolutionary. Although, this has nothing to do with the fact that we would rather prefer to be on two wheels than a mad-box.
Sadly, we won’t be seeing this Decepticon in any of the upcoming motor shows. This is of course because the NERA motorcycle is a two-wheeled advertisement for 3D printer maker BigRep and its consultancy group NOWLAB.
Now the basis for this piece is not exactly about the 3D printed motorcycle because let’s face it, I wouldn’t go around the block in that thing. But the possibility it opens. Hence, you have to give credit where it is due.
I am not sure if it’s just me or does anyone else think about the widest of applications, this kind of additive manufacturing can deliver? For instance, how about the next time you wear out or damage a part of your bike, all you need to do is to download the OEM and get a 3D printout to get your bike running again, striking off those mundane dealership visits.
Aftermarket component makers such as Ohlins, Brembo, Marchesini, Pirelli and others do not need to worry in the current scenario. However, it is impossible to strike down the possibilities of it happening one day when we see major chassis pieces on production motorcycle coming from giant 3D printers.
While this might sound like the words of a mad scientist to many, it is important to note that companies such as Energica have already used such pieces on its electric motorcycle offering. Additionally, among four-wheelers, BMW just surpassed one million printed components, most of which are used on its i8 supercar.
Hence, as a journalist, it would be obsolete of us to shoot down the possibility of a time when additive manufacturing changes the automotive industry – and industry in general.