Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 19th September 2014

Print your own motorbike: could it be possible one day?

Modeller and 3D printing enthusiast Jacky Wan has shown just what can be achieved already, by creating a scale model of the Ducati 1199 Panigale using a 3D printer.

It’s made up of more than 40 individually designed parts and the level of detail is quite astonishing. For example, the teeth of the gears actually fit into the chain – despite each of the links being less than a millimetre high.

Wan wanted the 3D printed model to be as true as possible to the original design on the exterior. He started the project by designing the model on CAD, using an existing 3D model that had all the right physical dimensions but was unprintable. The parts were designed to be snap fit so that they could be easily joined together.

Each of the pieces was printed on an Ultimaker Original printer and then painted with enamels, acrylics and lacquer paints before final assembly.

In a guest blog on the Ultimaker website, Wan said that it was an ambitious project and some pieces were particularly difficult to solve. But the results speak for themselves: the model shows that FDM (fused deposition modelling) printers are more than capable of producing stunning, complex and highly accurate models.

But could they be used on a bigger scale?

3D printing certainly has the potential to transform manufacturing. It’s the ultimate in small-scale production, allowing people to create their own products. For motorcycle enthusiasts, the technology will make it easier to get hold of obsolete parts because components could be made individually on a 3D printer.

Perhaps in the future 3D printing will be used to create a full scale, fully functioning motorcycle. What do you think?