Using 3D printing technology for cutting-edge e-mobility solutions, Marco Mattia Cristofori and Maximilian Sedlak, part of the BigRep’s innovation lab and consultancy NOWlab have developed the world’s first fully 3D-printed and functional e-motorcycle, the NERA e-motorcycle. As a distinction from similar prototypes, all NERA parts, excluding electrical components, have been 3D-printed, including tires, rims, frame, fork and seat.
“The NERA combines several innovations developed by NOWlab, such as the airless tire, functional integration and embedded sensor technology,” explains Daniel Büning, Co-founder and Managing Director of NOWlab. “This bike and our other prototypes push the limits of engineering creativity and will reshape AM technology as we know it.”
NERA (black in Italian) illustrates the massive benefits that 3D printing offers for the production of end-use parts, particularly for batch sizes between lot size one to small series by reducing lead times and costs, optimizing supply chains, and limiting dependency on supplier networks.
In building NERA, the engineers didn’t simply adapt existing motorcycle designs, but instead envisioned a bike for large-format FFF technology, setting a benchmark for truly creative design; breaking the limits of traditional mechanical engineering. Among the many innovations featured in NERA are the airless tires with customized tread; a lightweight rhomboid wheel rim, flexible bumpers (instead of suspension) and the electric engine, which is fitted in a customizable case.