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HONDA UTILISES 3D PRINTING IN DEVELOPING NEW MOTORCYCLE PROTOTYPES

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Honda, always at the forefront of technology, are developing a new technique in the research and development of Honda motorcycles. Up until now, it has been usual to use manual industrial clay modelling when developing new bikes, but Honda's European R&D branch has combined this with 3D printing in collaboration with Italian 3D printing company WASP. This new technique, alongside hand finishing, is enabling new motorcycles in development to get off the drawing board and into production more speedily.

Traditionally manual modelling is a creative process with highly skilled sculptors taking charge of the creation of the prototype motorcycle, but it can be quite slow. So in order to speed the process up, Honda, usually ahead of the curve, has incorporated WASP's 3D printing technology into the creative development process. Details are a bit thin on the ground at the moment about the parts being produced by the new printing technique, these things are usually kept under wraps for as long as possible to avoid competitors getting a heads up and possibly nicking the tech.
Working in this new way, Honda's design modelling coordinator and the Italian firm WASP's engineers have come up with a new Honda prototype which is apparently a 'breakthrough in motorcycle modelling', said to retain some of the hand-finishing from the current clay modelling, but with state of the art 3D printing tech included.

The big reveal of the new 3D printed prototype bikes is going to come in the next few months apparently. WASP, which started in 2012, specialises in circular production processes and uses systems that employ clay-based feedstock to build sustainable architecture among other things. WASP has been experimenting with different extrusion methods for clay, and the partnership with Honda has helped advance these techniques.

The world is changing so fast it is hard to know what is going to happen next as the lines between science fiction and engineering seem to blur daily. 3D printing technology is now employed in many fields, including medicine, health, gyms, drones, buildings etc - it was inevitable that it would be applied to motorcycling in some form before too long - definitely the shape of things to come.

Interesting, do you know any new areas in which 3D printing is now being used? Let us know at news@wemoto.com or drop us a message on Facebook.

Posted by Lucy England
for Wemoto News on 09 April 2021 in Technology

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