3D-printing, a fantasy made real by the wonders of technology, is all set to revolutionize manufacturing in the near future. In the past year, we’ve seen plenty of insanely complicated items like critical body implants being 3D-printed with ease.
Now, TE Connectivity, a company headquartered in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, has 3D-printed a fully-functioning motorcycle using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic. The company unveiled their revolutionary product at the RAPID conference held in the U.S. in May 2015. This conference is known for showcasing the latest advancements in additive technology.
(Image Credit: TE Connectivity)
This 3D-printed motorcycle is designed like a cruiser and looks quite stylish. The goal of the company is to prove that load-bearing parts such as the frame and wheel bearings can be manufactured with ease by 3D-printing. The strength of the frame is proven by the fact that this bike can seat two adults without strain. With a top speed between 10 and 15 mph, performance is not exactly this bike’s greatest strengths, but then, that wasn’t the point of the project. What it does is showcase the potential of this technology. The bike admittedly has a lot of outsourced parts, including the braking system, electrical wiring, tyres, motor, side stand etc, but soon, as the technology develops, even the required ancillary systems could also be 3D-printed one day.
While perfecting 3D-printing technology is going to take a fair bit of time, there is no doubt that the future looks very promising indeed.