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BigRep Launches World’s First Fully 3D Printed And Functional Electric Motorcycle

BigRep Launches World’s First Fully 3D Printed And Functional Electric Motorcycle

BigRep has developed a 3D printed electric motorcycle in which all of the motorcycle’s components are 3D printed except for its motor and battery. Named, NERA, the compact e-bike has the dimensions of 190cm x 90cm x 55cm and possesses a bionic passenger seat, making it the first fully 3D printed motorcycle that is functional in the world.

The motorcycle’s prototype which was designed by NOWlab, BigRep’s innovation consultancy, was printed on BigRep’s large-scale 3D printers. And it illustrates the numerous benefits that 3D printing offers for the production of end-­use parts, especially in the case of batch sizes that are between lot size one to small series, by reducing lead times and costs, optimising supply chains and limiting dependency on supplier networks.

In building NERA, engineers did not just adapt existing motorcycle designs, but instead envisioned a bike for large-­format FFF technology, setting a benchmark for truly creative design and breaking the limits of traditional mechanical engineering. Among the many innovations featured in NERA are the airless tires with a customised tread, a lightweight rhomboid wheel rim, as well as flexible bumpers instead of the conventional bumpers, and an electric engine, which is fitted in a customisable case.

Daniel Büning, Co‐Founder and Managing Director of NOWlab has said, “The NERA combines several innovations developed by NOWlab, such as the airless tire, functional integration and embedded sensor technology. This bike and our other prototypes push the limits of engineering creativity and will reshape AM technology as we know it.”


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The Difference Between Sand-Casting And 3D Printing

The Difference Between Sand-Casting And 3D Printing

Sand casting plays 3D Printing a critical role in manufacturing today. Yet, many organisations are still challenged by cost, quality and lead time. Contributed By BigRep

For long-term business success, manufacturers’ capability to produce affordable, high-quality moulds quickly is critical.

Sand moulded casting, also known as sand casting, is the most widely used 3D Printing metal casting process. The process uses temporary, non-reusable sand moulds to form metal objects.

Pattern Making

A replica of the object is made using wood, metal, plastics and other materials.


Sand mould is formed by packing sand around the pattern. When the pattern is removed, a hollow shape or cavity forms the casting.


Molten metal is poured into the mould.


The solidified part (casting) is ejected, or broken out of the mould.

Uses Of Sand Casting

Sand casting is used to produce a wide range of metal objects. Metal casting is a ubiquitous process used in almost every manufacturing sector.


  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Railway
  • Shipping

Heavy Equipment

  • Construction
  • Farming
  • Mining
  • Machining


  • Plumbing pipes
  • Valves
  • Fittings
  • Joints

Challenges Of Sand Casting

  • Productivity: Sand casting is labour intensive, and has a long pattern production time.
  • Complexity: It is difficult to produce complicated patterns using conventional methods.

Adding Value To The Process

Additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) can add value in the pattern making the process.

Benefits Of 3D Printing

  • Market Position: Conquer new customer segments and expand the customer base.
  • Added Value: Conquer new customer segments and expand the customer base.
  • Cost: Significantly lower production cost.
  • Lights Out Production: Run the machine without supervision overnight and over the weekend.
  • Speed: Reduce pattern production time.
  • Tighten Control: Control the whole process of manufacturing the patterns in-house.

Propeller Pattern Making

Marine manufacturer CJR Propulsion, based in the UK, specialises in manufacturing steering gear for luxury yachts and workboats.

Each propeller needed a design specifically for each vessel. Lastly, outsourced pattern making took weeks to produce.

By incorporating 3D printing into their pattern making the process by way of a large-scale printer from BigRep, the company was able to move production of the propeller patterns in-house.

This resulted in:

  • Lowered production cost.
  • Reduce production time from three weeks to three days.
  • Tightened control of the pattern making the process.
  • Run the machine unattended overnight and over the weekend.
  • Ability to conduct multiple iterations of the design.


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