3D printing specialists BTI3Dlabs have been focusing their attention on two-wheelers, after experimenting with car parts and radio controlled (RC) cars. We’ve seen 3D printed motorcycles before, but they weren’t as amazingly detailed and functional as these.
Brett Turnage, the 3D printing and racing fanatic who memorably created and 3D printed a replica of the 1993 McLaren MP4/8 in remembrance of Formula One racer Ayrton Senna, just announced his most recent Pinshape project.
Turnage, who also founded BTI3Dlabs, has unveiled his two 3D printed fully functional RC motorcycles, along with a 3D printed moving rider. The models and assembly instructions for the motorcycles are free and available for download on his Pinshape page.
His 3D printed motorcycles are the 2016 Ducati Draxter Concept Drag Bike RC, and the 2016 Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP RC motorcycle. BTI3Dlabs (Brett Turnage Industries) specializes in “top quality composites for the street and professional racing industry.”
His newest project was dubbed Project Jibril, for his Boston Firefighter Cadet friend, Jibril Antar, who loves motorcycles and recently purchased a Suzuki GSX R. According to Turnage’s Pinshape page, “RC motorcycles are almost like black magic,” because they use either active or passive gyroscopes to balance themselves on two wheels.
He explained, “This project remakes that magic for the 3d world with two 2016 bikes that were designed not as chassis, but as the individual motorcycles with unique parts that aim to recreate the realism of the actual bike.”
He has plenty of experience creating RC cars, but 3D modeling and printing motorcycles was a different beast altogether. Turnage had to figure out how to get each bike to balance on two wheels, and he also had a lot less space in the model to fit all of the electronics; if that weren’t enough, he also wanted to create a moving rider.
Both bikes feature a 3D printed functional front fork, a drivetrain that translates gear power to a belt drive system, and adjustable rear suspension. They also each have the option to run either TPU 3D printed rear tires, or rubber F1 RC tires. They utilize passive gyroscopes, instead of electronic ones, to stay upright, which means that while the bike spins, a weighted front wheel keeps it vertical. He also realized while working on this project that a chassis for a car is a lot different than one for a motorcycle.
Turnage began modeling the project, using Fusion 360, in June 2016 and it took him over five months, with multiple iterations and bikes, to come up with the final 3D printed versions, not counting the months of testing before they were announced.
(Read more: 3DPrint)