Take a Ride on the World's First 3D Printed Bike

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It’s the dawn of the 3D-printed era, with various applications in every industry imaginable, from medical to art. The new technology is named after the way it synthesizes a three-dimensional object from a digital file, and as Futuroligist Jeremy Rifkin considers, the start of the third industrial revolution.

Now, it appears that the first ever 3D printed electric motorbike has been unveiled. Airbus claims that their new Light Rider is the world’s first electric motorcycle created from the new technology.

The world’s first or not, the Light Rider is still pretty flash. The bike weighs a mere 35 kg thanks to an impressive aluminum alloy called Scalmalloy, which APWorks uses aws their proprietary 3D printing material.

The bike’s skeletal frame is a deliberate feature, according to APWorks. Plus, it only weighs 6 kg on its own! Thanks to its hollow structure, cables and pipes could be integrated within the vehicle.

Only 50 Light Riders will be available for sale, with a whopping price tag of US$56,000. As its name clearly suggests, however, the Light Rider isn’t quite for racing down the highway – rather, with a top speed of 50 mph and the ability to reach 28 mph in three seconds, the bike made for easy cruising. Also, on a single charge, the swappable battery allows a range of 37 miles.

According to APWorks, the algorithm they used to develop the vehicle’s optimized structure was how they desired to “keep the weight at a minimum while ensuring the motorcycle’s frame was strong enough to handle the weight loads and stresses of everyday driving scenarios”.

“The result is a motorcycle that looks more like an organic exoskeleton than a machine,” they said in a statement. “That was a very deliberate design goal for APWorks, which programmed the algorithm to use bionic structures and natural growth processes and patterns as the basis for developing a strong but lightweight structure.”

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