Article

3D printed parts help MotoGP team win podium finish

  • Nimish Sany
  • 19 July , 2016

So what’s the link between 3D printing and a podium-finishing motorcycle at the MotoGP FIM CEV European Championship race in Catalonia bearing the name of 3D printer maker Renishaw? Well, the winning team of TransFIOrmers at the Moto2 event, by collaborating with I3D, a young company based in Brive and specializing in Metal Additive Manufacturing using Renishaw 3D printers, had made their motorcycle evidently faster!

conventional part design design using 3D printing

Conventional design Image: 3ders.org   3D printing design   Image: 3ders.org

The custom-motorcycles used at MotoGP competitions are regularly rejigged to make them faster, lighter and easier to assemble; and that’s where 3D printing comes in. The Perigueux, a French Moto2 racing team led by former 250 CC World Championship racer Christian Boudinot was particularly impressed by the motorcycle design of Claude Fior, a design that eliminates the trouble of ‘brake dive’. A brake dive is when you go over the bars while using your front brake, because your front suspension forks lock in with your handle. While cornering, a front brake could have been handy if not for brake dive. Fior’s design eliminates the trouble by detaching contact between front suspension forks and the handle. The design not only reduces the weight by par but also proved to have improved the performance. An unconventional design called for unconventional machining and TransFIOrmers found the right partner in I3D to help them with the 3D printing process.

dsigning of the part

Image: 3ders.org

 

Jérôme Aldeguer, Mechanical Engineer at TransFIORmers said, “To improve overall motorcycle performance, reducing the weight of all components located behind the shock absorbers is absolutely vital. Failure to optimize component weights can have an adverse effect on vibration, braking and acceleration, so weight reduction is a really high priority.”

motorcycle with the 3D printed part

Image: 3ders.org

A steel prototype of the design was made initially, for comparative processes and the 3D printed model in retrospect has fared a weight reduction of 40%. 3D printing has allowed the team to control the design of the part more precisely with far less tolerances accounting for far less vibrations.Aldeguer remarked, “The weight reduction that metal 3D printing has achieved for us in our wishbone component has enabled us to bypass traditional weight transfer phenomenon and the problems associated with brake dive. More than that, it’s allowed us to design a part that is not only lighter, but far more rigid at the same time.”

Author

Nimish Sany: I bleed my thoughts on paper. And if I cant find a paper, blogs serve the purpose just fine.

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