APWorks, a 100% subsidiary of Airbus Group, has worked at the forefront of additive layer manufacturing (ALM) and advanced materials since 2013. APWorks has recently produced the world’s first 3D-printed motorcycle, made using APWorks’ Scalmalloy® material, weighing in at a svelte 35 kg.
Dubbed the Light Rider, the new APWorks design has truly earned its name as a lightweight in its class. 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, the world’s first 3D-printed electric motorcycle is 30% lighter than conventionally manufactured e-motorcycles.
The Light Rider’s design echoes the form of a conventional motorcycle – but looks like a distant relative of today’s motorbikes. Each 3D-printed part of the Light Rider’s frame – 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. Leveraging the benefits of 3D-printing technology, APWorks 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 – resulting in a dramatic 30% weight reduction over motorcycles produced using conventional manufacturing techniques.