APWorks produces bionically optimized metal parts for a wide range of industries, from aerospace to automotive and robotics. Its newest creation is the world’s first 3D-printed motorcycle and it’s called “Light Rider”. It has truly earned its name as a lightweight in its class, weighing in at just 35 kg and is probably the world’s lightest motorcycle prototype.
The Power to weight ratio equals that of a supercar. With a 6 kW electric motor powering it from zero to 80 km per hour in just seconds and a frame boasting a mere 6 kg, it is 30% lighter than conventionally manufactured e-motorcycles.
3D printing gives the geometrical freedom to realize such complex shapes. The motorcycle frame has been created out of thousands of thin layers in a metallic powder bed. Bionic algorithms define the organic frame structure using Altair’s OptiStruct. This aerospace approved approach gives the motorcycle superb stiffness and guarantees optimal use of the material. Silent, emission-free and powerful, it is powered by an electric motor, accelerating the motorcycle prototype with up to 130 Nm torques.
3D-printing technologies have revolutionized the design and manufacturing process not only in terms of structure and aesthetics but also in impressive weight savings on parts and equipment when compared to those made using conventional manufacturing techniques. APWorks used an algorithm to develop the Light Rider’s optimized structure to keep weight at a minimum while ensuring the motorcycle’s frame was strong.
Each 3D-printed part of the Light Rider’s frame was produced using a selective 3D laser printing system that melts millions of aluminum alloy particles together. Consists of thousands of thin layers just 60 microns thick. They designed frame parts that were hollow instead of solid, which has allowed for integrated cables, pipes and screw-on points in the finalized motorcycle structure.
The whole frame is made out of Scalmalloy, which is a corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy that is virtually as strong as titanium. Specifically developed for ALM-based production, the material combines high strength with an extraordinary level of ductility, making it an especially interesting material to use for highly solicited parts in lightweight robotics, automotive and aerospace applications.