Additive manufacturing for motorbikes
- Published: December 30, 2016
Additive manufacturing technology from Renishaw improves bike's front suspension system
TransFIORmers, a Moto2 race motorcycle, is defying conventions by racing with a front suspension system that is radically different compared to any other Moto2 race bike; a suspension system inspired by Christian Boudinot's mentor Claude Fior, a maverick bike designer.
Claude Fior saw the potential gains of advancing the stability of the front suspension system, initially on endurance motorcycles and later on a 250cc competition race bike. Christian rode for Claude on his 250cc competition race bike, experiencing the system first hand. The suspension system dramatically improves the handling of the motorcycle, allowing for improved stability and later braking into corners.
he team consider themselves the first in the Moto2 championship to utilise metal additive manufacturing (3D printing) technology in the production of such a functional, structural, component.
The component, a wishbone, is a key part of the FIOR suspension system. One component of two that attaches the forks to the chassis of the motorcycle enabling movement of the forks.
To realise the benefits of additive manufacturing (AM) the team called upon the world-class expertise of I3D Concept, which is based close to the team's base in Perigueux, France. Using Renishaw's AM 250 additive manufacturing system, they worked to further advance the components design and manufacturing.
The component, additively manufactured in Titanium, is an example of effective part consolidation. Previously composed of several machined and welded aluminium parts, it has now been consolidated into one single component. This topological optimisation resulted in a weight saving of approximately 40%.