Airbus is now selling 3D-printed motorcycles. It’s a leap from the mega-planes for which they’re known, but just as futuristic.
The Light Rider, as Airbus is calling it, was developed by the aviation giant’s German APWorks subsidiary. APWorks specializes in metallic 3D printing and specifically with Scalmalloy, an aluminum powder that, according to its website, is “corrosion-resistant and combines the low weight of aluminum with almost the specific strength of titanium.”
What does it mean for a motorcycle to be built out of a powder? It weights just 77 lbs!
It means that the Light Rider consists of thousands of thin layers just 60 microns think. The Light Rider also has a hollow frame, which translates to a 30 percent weight reduction compared to other motorbikes.
“The complex and branched hollow structure couldn’t have been produced using conventional production technologies such as milling or welding,” said Joachim Zettler, CEO of Airbus APWorks GmbH.
So it is real. 2016 is a game changing year for 3D printing, hence a real 3D printed motorcycle with real specs, albeit not on par with a Harley. It can hit a max speed o 49 mph and get halfway there in three seconds. The Light Rider is designed for city drive, and its battery can hold 37 miles before needing a recharging. .