3D Printed Motorcycle Weighs Only 18kg

After discovering 3D printing a few years ago, [Jonathan Brand] was hooked. He loved the ability to design things on a computer, and then have them realized as a real 3D object he can touch — sometimes within hours of doing the CAD work. He’s always wanted a motorcycle, but it was never the right time so at long last he decided to print one.

First off — no, it doesn’t actually work — it’s a 1:1 scale model of a 1972 Honda CB500. But it is an amazing testament to 3D printing and prototyping. He’s been working on it for almost as long as he’s had a 3D printer, and while he didn’t quote exactly how long it took to print everything, we’re guessing its in the thousands of hours.

In fact, he printed tons of components, labeled them, and organized them for up to a year before even being able to assemble them together. Talk about project dedication.

He’s even designed loose fits for moving parts — the wheels spin! To give it the cool transparent look, each part is actually almost completely hollow — with thin wall thickness of only about a millimeter. Because of this, the whole bike only weighs 18kg.

For a slightly more functional large-scale 3D print — how about printing your own colorful kayak?

[Thanks for the tip Keith!]

39 thoughts on “3D Printed Motorcycle Weighs Only 18kg

  1. Objet1000 with a 39.3 x 31.4 x 19.6 in. build volume could print things like the entire wheel or motor at once, no assembly required. Some SLA vats are even larger, they print entire 1:1 scale car dashboards at once.

  2. It probably cost several times in filament of what a real motorcycle costs. But on the other hand selling it as art means you make enough profit to get yourself a free motorcycle.Plus he’s sponsored by the 3D printer people to make this as an ad. So now the question is if he still is an artist if he works for advertising? Probably not eh

    Cue the people wondering if HaD is doing a hidden ad again..

    1. “It probably cost several times in filament of what a real motorcycle costs”
      The article clearly states that he used 18kg of PLA. Doing the math ($25*18=$450) and superficially checking online for the value of this bike model ($1,000 – $2,500), you can clearly see that it costs several times __less__.

      1. It’s a pretty old bike he used though, so I bet you can get that for less than $2K (no real idea, I’m not into motorcycles).

        Plus it depends where you are and where you get your filament too of course. And ebay is tricky when you accidentally end up with lousy/inconsistent stuff and lose money instead of saving it.

        But this was sponsored so he didn’t have to worry too much about that part.

        1. Well, those old CB Hondas are popular, you might get one for a song from someone who found one in a barn and thinks it is not worth anything, but some folks spend lots of money finding NOS parts and rechroming old ones.

  3. well from the headline I’m disappointed, I thought someone printed a motorcycle that actually works. It’s not more than gluing a model together, 3D printing parts (that don’t actually work) is not so special anymore.

        1. Artists I know do great things with many strokes of a pen.

          Wordplay aside I think you get my point. I grant that what you say is true even though I don’t see how it ties into what I said, since I did not claim that art can be rated by effort alone. It can, however, add to one’s appreciation of it.

          My comment was aimed at the unnecessary negative commentary that I see so often here on hackaday. It seems more common than it is on other discussion boards.

  4. I’ve owned 3 motorcycles in the short time i’ve been riding. I would absolutely love to walk into my living room one day and see full size replicas of the bikes i once rode.
    This is truly an amazing idea. It’s not about buying some chinese made standard replica either. It’s about making a replica of YOUR bike.

    And if you made any modifications to your bike like i did, it would add that little touch :)

  5. I’m not sure I’d choose to print the 70’s Honda design, but if I had to choose, it’d be the CB900F rather than the CB500.
    Despite my bias, the CB900F had a little more refined the look [for a 70’s bike] and reverence.

    I’m guessing however that this model is closer to his heart, so thumbs-up for the dedication!

  6. This is certainly one of the most impressive 3D prints I’ve ever seen. It’s a wonderful work of art.
    Interesting choice of bikes. I think most people going for a Honda of that era would have gone for the CB750, which was a real game-changer when it came out. Kudos for not making the obvious choice.

  7. Looks just like my 1976 CB500T I have in my garage, except for the four cylinder engine! Biggest difference though is mine runs and rides, even if I haven’t quite finished restoring it from 20 years of barn rot :)

  8. Whats the point?
    “Lead cast motorcycle, weighs only one ton” Huh?
    Those 200kg of motorcycle in front of my house take me anywhere and if thats too heavy for me I will get me a light enduro, so?
    Yes there is 3d printing now, no it wont solve ocean plastic, no it wont solve global warming, no it wont feed bangladeshees when the water rises, no it wont take over automobile industrie, no it wont replace Gods or trees and blue sky and mountains and another person’s eyes smiling at you.

    Did you ever think about what you lose? You can be building and shaping with your hands – that have more than ten times as many axis as any 3d printer. Instead you drag around that mouse, hurting your joints and your eyes? You miss to be a human beeing in a human body, capabel to feel the roundness of a shape with your palm. You miss to see the sunlight staring at that screen. You miss to risc, learn from and discover by making mistakes, killing them with an undo option in your software.
    And you miss out the smell of gasoline, the noisy breething of an combustian engine and that anoying rain in your face while riding 100 miles per hour on two wheels that may slide and fall any time.
    I worked a lot with computers and at some point I stoped to be overwhelmed by pixels per inch and frames per seconds and started to be overwhelmed by real life.

    benjamin,
    product designer
    game developer
    3d Artist
    programmer
    ex physicist
    ex film light technitian

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