Additive manufacturing service provider Fast Radius and custom electric motorcycle startup Curtiss Motorcycle Company have partnered on the prototyping of an upcoming vehicle.
The Zeus 8, a “naked” hot rod bike with visible battery cylinders, was shown publicly for the first time last week. Hybrid additive and subtractive manufacturing methods were used by Fast Radius on over multiple components for the bike, putting it on track for commercial availability in 2020.
Future-proof hot rod motorcycles
Founded in 2018, Curtiss is on a mission to ‘create sustainable, desirable, intergenerational, mean, clean, and green future-proof hot rod motorcycles.’ The Zeus is one of two introductory designs at the company, the other being the Hades that takes on a bullet-like structure. The original designs for both cycles are based on a construction created by company namesake Glenn H. Curtiss, former “fastest man in the world” who set an unofficial world record on a motorbike in 1907.
The chassis of the Zeus model is a weldment of 1.75” Titanium/Chromoly tubular and 6061 aluminum, giving lightweigthedness and support to the bike’s iconic battery arrangement. It has a wheelbase of 62”, ground clearance of 9.5” and seat height of 27.5”. Peak output of the Zeus is 217 HP, and it is currently being offered for an asking price of $75,000.
3D printing on demand
Exhibiting at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel, California, Curtiss required a Zeus 8 prototype to present at the show. Working with Fast Radius enabled the company to complete a solid prototype of the bike in time for the meeting last week.
60 small parts of the Zeus 8 were made using hybrid subtractive and additive manufacturing. It took Fast Radius just 12 days to complete all parts for the project, undercutting competition by a full 48 hours, and saving money through a 95% yield on parts.
Based on the success of this prototype, the two companies have agreed to continue working together on more of Curtiss’ upcoming bike projects, including the first 100 run of the Zeus 8 which will be available to buy next year.
Going forward, Curtiss is considering applying 3D printing to the end-use production of seat and handle grips on the Zeus 8 motorcycle. Brian Simms, VP of Sales at Fast Radius, comments, “Our partnership with Curtiss is ideal because it allows them to do what they do best—designing stunning motorcycles—while we do what we do best—matching the project with the right technology and getting quality parts made quickly,”
“We’re looking forward to innovating with Curtiss as they grow their brand.”
3D printing next generation e-motorcycles
3D printing is proving to be an invaluable tool to the prototyping and custom manufacture of next generation electric motorcycles. Award winning materials producer CRP Technology has a longstanding relationship with Energica which has seen 3D printed parts introduced to the track for the 2019 MotoE World Cup. BORN Motor Co., a custom motorcycle manufacturer from Barcelona, is also using 3D printing to produce non-aesthetic parts for it kit bikes, saving on average €2,000 per bike.
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Featured image shows battery cylinders on the Zeus 8 motorbike design. Image via Curtiss Motorcycle Company