3D printing builds success for Moto2 bike

Louise Davis

French Moto2 team TransFIORmers won its first race at the CEV Repsol European Championship in Barcelona. The team used a revolutionary front suspension system including an additively manufactured (3D printed) titanium wishbone produced using Renishaw’s AM250 manufacturing system. The component is a perfect example of effective part consolidation, with a weight saving of 600 g compared to the original welded steel component.

The TransFIORmers team worked in partnership with I3D Concept to design and manufacture a unique front suspension system inspired by maverick race bike designer, Claude Fior. The system uses a design radically different from any other suspension system used in Moto2. The system bypasses traditional weight transfer phenomenon and the problems associated with ‘brake dive’.

Key components of the front suspension are the wishbones; components that attach the fork to the motorbike chassis, enabling movement of the forks. The original upper wishbone component was handmade and assembled using twelve individually machined and welded parts.

I3D Concept, topologically optimised the shape of the part using CAD software. The new design reduced assembly time, decreased the weight by a factor of 40%, but as importantly, reduced the unsprung mass of the bike. This improved the suspension in terms of vibration management and responsiveness to braking and acceleration.

“Additive manufacturing allowed the TransFIORmers team to produce a precisely manufactured component in a highly competitive environment,” explained Christophe Tisserand, Additive Manufacturing Product Manager for Renishaw S.A.S.

The Optical Control System of Renishaw’s AM250 additive manufacturing system enabled accurate control of laser steering, which enhanced precision, definition of features and surface finish.

The TransFIORmers team considers themselves the first in the Moto2 championship to use additive manufacturing in a structural, functional component.

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