German Firm Unveils New 3D-Printed Motorbike

The German company BigRep has unveiled an innovative new electric motorbike with one peculiar feature; it’s entirely constructed from 3D-printed materials and processes. The sleek electric motorcycle, called the NERA, resembles something from a science fiction movie and is reportedly the first of its kind in the world.

With the exception of the electronic components needed to operate its engine, the entirety of the motorbike has been created via 3D-printing processes, sometimes called additive manufacturing. Everything from the bike’s seat and frame to its tires and rims come from the new method of manufacturing, which is rapidly growing more popular around the globe as its associated costs plummet.

BigRep Shaking Up the Industry

BigRep’s CEO intoned that with the NERA, the company was hoping to shake up its industry and demonstrate that anything was possible in terms of motorbike design.

“In essence what we’re doing is we’re giving designers and engineers the opportunity to swipe away the limitations that they have been used to from classical manufacturing methods, like grinding, moulding those things,” CEO Stephan Beyer told The Guardian in an interview.

Part of why the NERA is drawing so much buzz is the fact that the electric motorbike went from an idea to a reality in such a short amount of time. It took just 12 weeks to put together the 3D-printed motorcycle, according to its creators, and the fact that it’s solely composed of 15 parts made it easy to assemble.

The bike’s creators argue that they’re pioneering the way of the future for motorbikes used in a Vespa rental, though the NERA won’t be going into full production anytime soon. For now, most 3D-printed products like the NERA remain specialties unsuitable for mass production.

Not The First 3D-Printed Motorbike

Others have laid claim to the mantle of the world’s first 3D-printed motorbike in the past. The “Light Rider,” which weighs a paltry 35 kilograms, is another electric-powered motorbike from the German company APWorks.

According to Deutsche Welle, the Light Rider debuted in 2017, well ahead of BigRep’s NERA. The newer bike is slightly larger, however, and its sleek frame has generated considerably more attention than any other 3D-printed bike to go public thus far.

The exciting technological revolution pushing 3D-printing forward continues to make such announcements an everyday reality; one market report from Wohlers noted that in 2018, the 3D printer industry topped out at $7 billion.

According to Forbes, which relied on the total amount of 3D printers actually sold, the industry is set to continue growing for the foreseeable future.