To help rush-hour victims in crowded cities breathe easier, Dutch designer Ronald Meijs has created the Motorman, an electric motorbike that’s become the fashionable green vehicle for daily commuters throughout Europe. This retro electric motorbike is the perfect two-wheel solution to avoiding traffic jam. Customers are just as attracted to its stylish, classic lines as to its zero-emission technology. As a modern and innovative company Meijs Motorman quickly found their way to 3D printing and its benefits for their business.
“We started searching on google for 3D printers and found a few distributors. We chose the Tripodmaker out of 10 different 3D printers due to its high tech, stylish design. Our brand stands for elegance and we immediately felt a match in aesthetics, which triggered our interest. Last year we run a production of 100 bikes, this year we will produce 250. For some parts these quantities are too low to pay for molding. Even outsourcing to other 3D printing firms would be an additional cost. “
To face this challenge, Motorman figured out that investing in their own 3D printer would be the smartest choice, not only for running small productions but also as a tool for prototyping future projects. This is a fraction of the cost of setting up a new mold. As they needed 3D printing for a certain durable part, they decided to go for the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. They are now testing this specific part in PLA (Polyactic acid), but they have other materials such as ABS and Nylon in stock to try and compare.
Console holder as it used to be
3D printed console holder produced with low cost FDM technology
“Prior to purchasing the Tripodmaker, our expenses were much higher than the cost of purchase, maintenance, and materials for the FDM printer. Now not only can we produce higher quantities of parts at a fraction of the cost, but we are also able to forecast costs for each project much more accurately. To keep Motorman at the forefront of electric motorbike industry we sought a technology that could make accurate, durable equipment quickly. FDM was the only solution that could meet our requirements. The 3d printer was really easy to install and it now constitutes an integral part of our manufacturing process. Tripodmaker has demonstrated real commitment to our business, and we continue to receive expert advice from them. Having a 3D printer has some more advantages as well. We once printed a scale model of our workspace in order to rearrange it in the most optimal way. Another benefit of having a 3D printer in our office is that people cannot look away and always ask about it. It is an engaging way to interact with our clients and show them the technology we use.”
This is an example of how through 3D printing we were not only able to save a client the cost of an expensive production machine, but we were also able to show that 3d printing can really be a solution to everyday problems. Compared to traditional manufacturing which may have taken weeks to produce a perfect design, it took just a few hours to do this with 3D printing. Of course we didn’t print a full motorbike, but we solved a problem that has the potential to save companies thousands of euros. The ability to turn your vision into reality in a matter of hours not only accelerates the manufacturing cycle, it also means that you have more time to perfect design before production. It decreases the number of errors in the design and significantly speeds up the development process. Additive manufacturing can enable your company to build both concept models and functional prototypes. The accuracy and durability of the models can help you analyze each component, recognize design flaws and rectify them quickly. For those who see 3D printing as a solution to people’s problems, the potential is endless.