Tuesday, April 8, 2014

3D Printed Futuristic Motorcycle Model

I have always had a fascination with anything futuristic or Scifi related.   Be it photos, movies, models or what have you.  Last fall I had an idea for a model of a futuristic motorcycle bouncing around in my head and so I designed the model in my computer. Then I 3D printed the parts expecting to finish the model in short order.  That is about as far as I got and so it set on my work bench waiting to be completed all this time.  With all the other projects that have passed over my work bench over the past months I was surprised to even find time to work this overdue project.  So that is the subject for today.  

Here is what I came up with.  I wanted this computer model to become something real I could hold in my hands and still be able to be printed on my 3D printer. I like the idea of an enclosed motorcycle and also to be able to once again use skateboard wheels for the model. Like the Indy car racer I had completed some time back shown above.

The front and rear forks of the model are exactly the same so making them would be an easy thing to do. I knew that I also wanted to make a streamlined body that would be easy enough to 3D print.

In this computer image you can see an exploded view of the model and all of it's components.  The only thing that is not correct in this image is the fact that the red body is actually in two pieces..split down the middle.  This was designed this way so that I could easily print the body on my 3D printer and then join them when the model was assembled.

Here is a photo of almost all of the 3D printed components that make up the model.  In the upper left corner of the photo is the windshield before it has been painted.  The rear window is just below the windshield smoothed and painted black.  A big difference to be sure. 

This is a good shot of the right side of the body just after it was 3D printed.  As you can see the shape is what I was after but it is far from being ready for paint.  A lot of sanding and priming of these parts were needed to be done next to get to the smooth finish I was after.  Just to print one half of the body took around four hours of print time.

Here once again is the windshield and now both sides of the body after they have been sanded and primed for the first time.  They look a lot better but still have a little ways to go yet to be ready for paint.  I wet sanded these parts again several times using 220 grit sand paper and priming them over and over until I was happy with the parts.

This is how the model turned out after many hours of 3D printing, sanding, priming and painting.  As you can see my time prepping the model has paid off with a very smooth looking paint job on all of the components.

The model stand 4 inches tall, 8.5 inches long and 2 inches wide. 

This will make a nice addition to my collection of models and matches perfectly with the computer model that I started with.  Would make one heck of a vehicle if it were for real.  With no exhaust pipe it would have to be.... electric?  Another project idea for another day. 

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