18:53 GMT +315 November 2019
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    A Light Rider motorcycle printed in 3D technique by APWorks, a subsidiary of the Airbus Group, is presented on May 20, 2016 in Ottobrunn near Munich, southern Germany

    Light Rider: Airmen 3D-Print World's First Motorcycle From Aluminum Powder

    © AFP 2019 / Sven Hoppe/dpa
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    What happens when aerospace engineers try their hand at designing a motorcycle? They revolutionize the industry by crafting the world's first 3D-printed futuristic motorcycle from aluminum powder.

    Airbus Group's German APWorks subsidiary has unveiled its hi-tech brainchild, the Light Rider, an emission-free motorcycle powered by a 6-kW electric motor which can accelerate the bike to 80 km/h. It can gain a speed of 45 km/h in three seconds.

    The vehicle's frame was 3D-printed "out of thousands of 30-µm [micrometer] thin layers in a metallic powder bed," and the precursor, Scalmalloy, is an aircraft grade aluminum which "offers the specific strength of titanium and is unequaled in 3D printing," the bike's website said.    

    Thanks to the technology, the bike weighs a remarkable 35 kilograms, which signifies a 30-percent drop if compared to the mass of an ordinary motorcycle.

    The Light Rider can cover 60 kilometers before the driver needs to replace its exchangeable battery.

    The manufacturer will churn out a limited edition of just 50 Light Riders, and they are available for pre-order. However, with all its advantages, there is one blot on the landscape that makes the Light Rider rather "heavy" — its price standing at 50,000 euros.


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    hi-tech, video, 3D printing, motorcycle, Scalmalloy, Light Rider, APWorks, Airbus, Germany
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