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3D Printing Lets Engineer Improve his Ride

Published on 26 November 15

3D printing is a revolutionary technology to have stepped into the world. The technology is being employed by various industries like manufacturing, medical, fashion, architecture, automotive, education and many more. Besides the industries, even the common people are now using this technology to make things easy for themselves.

3D Printing Lets Engineer Improve his Ride - Image 1

Jowell Randall, an engineer, created components for his new motorcycle, Triumph Daytona 675R, using 3D printing. He said in an interview that now he has found a process to make components for his motorcycle, which takes merely 3-4 days using a 3D printer, rather than a few weeks in case of going to a fabricating shop. Jowell is well-versed with the process of 3D printing and is quite familiar with Triumph motorcycles. However, he didn't expect that additive manufacturing would let him customize his new motorbike.

What did Jowell make?

After buying the Triumph, Jowell found that the bike's original fender eliminator, or tail piece holding the turn signals, reflectors and license plate, was cumbersome as well as bulky. It didn't flow well with the bike's contoured aesthetics. Using 3D printing and additive manufacturing, he streamlined the method of making the large piece that he felt would better suit the bike.

When a modification needs to be done in a motorbike, metal-based is the traditional manufacturing type, either formed of aluminium or casted for making a plaster mold and metal poured into it and cleaned. Then, the new piece is taken by the fabrication shop for creating individual pieces and cuts to suit the custom motorbike. Jowell discovered that such a process won't work well for a one-off component owing to the extensive precision, time and manpower required for the method. Moreover, he won't be able to ride the motorbike for one or two weeks because of test fits and measurements.

An advantage of employing additive manufacturing for fabricating or tooling jigs is that the engineer can incorporate changes in the CAD model immediately. Then, the revised model can be 3D printed in just a few hours. From the steps of fitting, creating and designing, a 3D printer changes the manufacturing, engineering and design process, that would take about weeks in a fabricating shop. A 3D printer takes only 3-4 days.

The goal of Jowell's design process was packing everything into the smallest package possible, while keeping up the aesthetics and factory look of the bike. For the project, polycarbonate was the material Jowell selected, as the material has enough strength to withstand the bike's external factors, like debris, rocks, exhausts, heat, wind and speed. After accomplishing the creation of the

new fender eliminator for his motorcycle, Jowell expects that additive manufacturing is likely to have a bright future in its application in bike modifications. He noted that additive manufacturing can help you create different sliding pucks for frame protection, mounts and housing for the turn signals, and brake levers.

The engineer emphasizes the importance of the AXIOM printer of Airwolf, in carrying out the entire process. Unlike other kinds of 3D printers available in the market, with AXIOM you can easily print nylon, polycarbonate and other materials

of higher grade temperature. AXIOM not only uses the strongest materials, the printer's enclosed print envelope permits high resolution building of the parts along with a high degree of layer-layer adhesion. The built parts can not only withstand the admirers' scrutiny, but also go a large number miles on highways. To get better adhesion with the bed when carrying out 3D printing of polycarbonate, Jowell made use of Wolfbite Mega.

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