Famous for their mega-planes, Airbus has now moved into the sector of producing 3D motorcycles! Named the Light Rider, this 3D printed electric bike seems to be the future not only for electric vehicles but also for 3D printed vehicles.
Launched in 2016 by the Airbus subsidiary, German APWorks, this 3D bike is being described by them as “corrosion-resistant and combines the low weight of aluminum with almost the specific strength of titanium.” These special qualities stem from the use of Scalmalloy, an aluminum powder that APWorks specializes in working with.
So, how does one print something sturdy like a bike from powder? Well, Airbus explains that the parts of the Light Rider have thousands of thin layers which are around 60 microns in thickness. The hollow frame of the 3D printed electric bike adds another feather to its cap. This frame means a 30% reduction in the overall weight, as compared to other bikes. The CEO of Airbus APWorks GmbH, Joachim Zettler explained how conventional technologies of welding or milling would not have worked for this bike. Hence they decided on a branched, complex, hollow structure. Hence now, each 3D printed Light Rider comes to about 35kg only!
You might think of the Light Rider as a toy but it has all the practicality you may need. Although it’s not a Harley, it can top out at 49m/h. The company is targeting this 3D printed electric bike mainly for city driving. Airbus claims its battery will go for 37 miles with every charge.
Only 50 Light Riders were made and each of these 3D printed electric bikes started selling for $2,244.
Electric bike enthusiasts, planning to get your own now?
Video: Motorcyclist Magazine