World's First 3D Printed Motorcycle

May 24, 2016

For just $56,100 you can own what APWorks calls "probably the world's lightest motorcycle" weighing in at 77 pounds and made of a custom aluminum alloy powder.

The Light Rider, made by Airbus subsidiary APWorks, is an electric cycle with a 6kW motor that the company says will do 50 mph and run 0-45 in 3 seconds. It's street legal and will run 35 miles on a battery charge.  

The Light Rider isn't going to be mass produced right now but the company is printing 50 cycles, in part to demonstrate their 3D-printing expertise.

APWorks specializes in metallic 3D-printing for industries including aerospace, robotics, automotive, and medical technology. Based near Munich, Germany, the company uses an aluminum-based material called Scalmolloy, created and produced by APWorks.

Airbus APWorks CEO Joachim Zettler says the goal in the development of Scalmalloy was to develop a high-performance aluminum powder that is corrosion-resistant and combines the low weight of aluminum with almost the specific strength of titanium. (In comparison, the AlSi10Mg aluminum silicon powder widely used for additive manufacture is only half as strong.) In addition to its high strength, Scalmalloy is also very tough which gives it a special advantage for safety-related applications and  high-performance applications in the robotics, automotive and aerospace industries.

When used in the Laser Powder Bed Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) process, Scalmalloy's high cooling rate and rapid solidification allow designers to 'print' components that would not have been possible to produce in a foundry manufacturing setting.

If you're interested, APWorks is taking deposits now. Contact them here.