Nikola Motor Invests in a BigRep PRO to Help Lead the Future of Sustainable Heavy-Duty Trucking

Nikola Corporation, a technology disruptor and integrator working to develop innovative energy and transportation solutions, has invested in the BigRep PRO, a large-format FFF additive manufacturing system, to streamline the design and manufacturing processes of their zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen station infrastructure.

BigRep, the global leader in large-format additive manufacturing (AM) technology and solutions (FFF segment) is renowned for developing next-generation, German-engineered AM systems like the BigRep PRO. Specializing in industrial solutions for innovative manufacturers like Nikola and advanced AM applications, BigRep and Nikola are an ideal match based on their reputation for delivering innovative technologies.

Nikola Motor Company and the BigRep PRO Large-Format FFF 3D Printer

The BigRep PRO is changing how industry leaders like Nikola consider additive manufacturing.  Integrating AM into design and manufacturing processes opens the door for process improvements, product design optimization and modern operation efficiencies. As with Nikola, who acquired their PRO through California-based reseller Saratech, AM is now able to play a key role in developing the future of freight transport, supported by BigRep’s unique technology and portfolio of high-quality engineering-grade materials – developed through BigRep’s close relationship with BASF.

“At Nikola Corporation, our vision is to become a global leader in zero-emissions transportation – and innovation plays a significant role in making that happen. We selected the BigRep PRO for its large-format build volume, third-party filament compatibility, and state-of-the-art Bosch-Rexroth CNC control systems,” said Technical Operations Manager of Nikola Corporation, Riley Gillman. “The first prints that we ran lasted 17 days. Since then, we have been pretty much running the PRO non-stop to help us print parts and components using its large capacity of printing, high resolution and accuracy throughout the entire process.”

Nikola Motors BigRep PRO Tre Print Left Bumper
Nikola Tre close-up on left bumper

Nikola relies on the BigRep PRO to 3D print assembly, weld, and Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) inspection fixtures, which all require a high level of precision. In addition, the PRO is producing test components for fit checks on the company’s vehicles, and manufacturing some end-use parts.

“We are excited to be working with Nikola Corporation by providing both BigRep industrial 3D printing systems and our expertise in innovative applications,” says Frank Marangell, BigRep CBO and President of BigRep America. “The variety of applications Nikola  is printing illustrates the PRO’s flexibility and high-performance potential in demanding industries like automotive. Nikola has joined a roster of other automotive industry leaders who benefit from our flagship system’s unprecedented speed, precision and reliability that make it the perfect choice for cutting-edge AM applications.”

The BigRep PRO is specially designed for 3D printing both large-format and low-yield production parts required in high-performance applications across the automotive, aerospace and other industries. The BigRep PRO features a build envelope of almost one full cubic meter and is equipped with a state-of-the-art Bosch Rexroth CNC motion control system delivering IoT connectivity to fully integrate with Industry 4.0. To create the perfect balance of speed and resolution, BigRep offers two varieties of extruder for the PRO, the Advanced Capability Extruder (ACE) and the BigRep MXT®, its proprietary Metering Extruder Technology. A large, airtight filament chamber allows for continuous printing with engineering-grade filaments like PA6/66, ABS, ASA, fiber-filled and more. The PRO operates using BigRep’s BLADE slicer software, which provides accurate printing time and material use calculations for optimized productivity, as well as simple tools for easy batch and mirror printing.

A truly industrial 3D printing experience

A large-format 3D printer designed for high productivity in industrial manufacturing environments. It's an additive manufacturing system with the speed and reliability to supercharge your production with high-quality industrial parts.

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3D Printed Car Parts for Solar-Electric Vehicles

3D Printed Solar Powered Car Prototype

3D printed car parts are helping engineers to rapidly prototype solar-powered cars, accelerating research into fossil fuel alternatives for consumer vehicles.

The explosively growing trend of electric vehicles (EVs) is clearing the way for new methods of fuel-creation – away from finite, expensive, and environmentally hazardous resources. Since electricity is still largely produced by fossil fuels and other major pollutants, energy production is bottlenecking the reduced carbon footprint of EVs.

Fortunately, ongoing research into cars with integrated solar power cells promises new horizons of environmental responsibility, energy independence and unfettered access to power and mobility across the world.

3D Printed Car Parts - Solar Car
A concept rendering of Futuro Solare's Archimede solar car as a consumer vehicle.

Spurred by global events like Australia’s international solar-car race, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, Researchers are already working towards vehicles with integrated solar panels.

BigRep and other corporate sponsors provide researchers with the means to construct and test vehicles with local solar power that participate in these races. The vehicles and their construction process, while sponsored and constructed for these publicized events, are used to advance research into solar vehicles and how we might work towards developing the technology for everyday consumers.

For some groups, BigRep’s large-format 3D printers have played a major role in advancing research. Lack of access to expensive traditional manufacturing technologies is a large barrier for the small teams working on solar vehicles. Fortunately, additive manufacturing easily fills in for the production of functional fixtures, prototypes and more 3D printed car parts.

3D Printed Car Parts: Heat-Resistant Battery Fixtures for Futuro Solare

At Futuro Solare, an Italian-Sicilian team of volunteer engineers and solar-vehicle enthusiasts, they’re dedicated to the mission of eliminating fossil fuels from everyday life. Like many other institutions, developing solar-powered vehicles is how they work towards their goal.

3D Printed Car Parts: Solar Race Car
Futuro Solare's Archimede 1 solar racecar.

When the group needed several end-use fixtures for their solar-car’s battery block they were stuck in a complicated acquisition dilemma. Since their racecar is entirely custom there isn’t a readily available solution on the market. Worse yet, since the prototype vehicle is always changing there’s a good chance the team will soon need another iteration of the fixture: taking expensive custom milled fixtures off the table entirely. The team needed a custom solution that was affordable, lightweight and, most importantly, able to resist any heat the battery block or other components might give off.

Futuro Solare approached NOWLAB, BigRep’s consultancy for engineered solutions, to 3D print suitable fixtures with a heat-resistant material that would meet their needs. BigRep’s HI-TEMP filament – an affordable bio-polymer able to withstand heat up to 115 ˚C – was the perfect solution. The part was printed and installed in their current solar-car and has since been quickly and easily updated to fit with their ever-evolving design.

3D Printed Car Parts: Battery Frame
3D-Druck von Batterieblockhalterungen für Archimede von Futuro Solare

Wind Tunnel Testing with Team Sonnenwagen

Team Sonnenwagen, a solar race team out of Germany’s Aachen University, was preparing for their second year participating in the World Solar Challenge. Having learned from their previous experience in 2017, they knew it was important to carefully check the aerodynamics of their solar-racecar before the race began. Unfortunately, the university’s wind tunnel was too small to test their full-sized vehicle. Team Sonnenwagen turned to BigRep for an additive manufacturing solution.

It was important for Team Sonnenwagen to understand how their vehicle will behave faced with the variety of forces present in a race. After all, they would be putting one of their own team in the driver’s seat to race at 140 km/h through the Australian outback. BigRep sponsored Team Sonnenwagen and, taking advantage of 3D PARTLAB, our 3D printing service bureau.

With our industrial 3D printers’ massive one-cubic-meter build volume, we created a perfect 1:2.5 scale model of the vehicle. Reasonably scaled down, the team could fit their design in Aachen University’s wind tunnel and undergo the tests to prepare them for their race. Because of the model they were able to validate the vehicle’s downforce lift, confirm its sail, and view a variety of other aerodynamic and force tests that helped the team compete and stay safe.

3D Printed Prototype for Wind Tunnel Tests
Das Team Sonnenwagen verwendet Rauch an seinem skalierten Solar-Rennwagen, um die Aerodynamik zu überprüfen

3D Printed Car Parts Bring Solar-Powered Cars Closer to Reality

Additive manufacturing plays an ever-increasing role in the development of bleeding-edge technology. Solar-powered vehicles are just one example of a technology that benefits from short rapid prototyping cycles, affordable scaled models, and on-demand engineering-quality solutions for spare parts and fixtures.

Because of the opportunities afforded by large-format additive manufacturing, like BigRep’s industrial 3D printers, innovative researchers like Futuro Solare and Team Sonnenwagen have resources never previously accessible at their scale. With them, accelerated research into integrated renewable power has been possible – inching the world closer to reliable solar-powered vehicles for new heights of environmental responsibility and energy independence around the world.

Learn more about Additive Manufacturing

GUIDE TO INTEGRATE LARGE-FORMAT ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

3D printing a large part all at once means less time is spent designing around multiple print jobs or assembling multiple parts, and more time getting those parts to work for you.

LARGE-FORMAT 3D PRINTERS FOR EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

Learn how Kingston University, Helmut Schmidt University and more are using BigRep 3D printers for their classrooms and research.

AMAZEA Underwater Scooter, Serially-Produced with BigRep 3D Printers

For the first time ever a consumer water sports mobility device will be 75% additively manufactured (AM) with serial-produced, custom 3D-printed parts: The AMAZEA scooter’s body and front parts are being produced on three BigRep ONE large-format 3D printers using engineering-grade materials by BigRep, the global leader in large-scale 3D printing and additive solutions.

"AMAZEA is an industry-first breakthrough with the potential to redefine maritime vehicle technology and the consumer experience in water sports around the world,” said JAMADE Managing Partner Janko Duch, who founded the company together with Martin Oser and Detlef Klages in July 2018. “We opted for the BigRep ONE due to its cost efficiency, accuracy and quality when compared to the extremely high investment for traditional tools, particularly in the first year’s lower quantity,” the founders explained. German-based JAMADE is specialized in the development and manufacturing of e-powered water sports equipment for the end consumer market.

The large-format BigRep ONE 3D printer was key to a successful product launch, providing the high flexibility and speed AM offers, also making the development process much more time-efficient.

JAMADE started on white paper and progressed through product development. Offering a big 1m3 print volume, the BigRep ONE 3D printer provided unmatched cost efficiency, operational reliability and excellent technical qualities during JAMADE’s prototyping and the end-use parts’ serial production. The material is BigRep’s Pro HT, an easy-to-use filament designed for end-use applications. With a softening resistance of up to 115 °C, it offers a significant increase in temperature resistance (compared to average PLA), and minimal warping and shrinkage, which makes it perfectly suited for marine environments. As a material derived from organic compounds, Pro HT is biodegradable under the correct conditions, CO2 neutral and environmentally friendly.

“This scooter is a BigRep showcase of our digital solutions empowering production by leveraging the full potential of large-format 3D printers with high-performance filaments,” says BigRep Managing Director Martin Back. “It also signifies the rapid progress of 3D printing into the serial production of consumer end products, opening a new dimension for AM in similar niche but high-tech markets as well.”



Find out how industry leaders are using BigRep 3D printers to create affordable and secure investment shipping containers on demand for sensitive aerospace equipment in our case study with Airbus:
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The underwater scooter, which pulls the diver attached to it forward through the water, is an environmentally friendly, emission-free and low-noise method of exploring marine life without disrupting the eco-system. AMAZEA is an agile underwater scooter based on the “catamaran principle” and replicating a dolphin’s special body ergonomics that enable faster movement.

The stylish design offers a robust frame available in various bright colors. Thanks to an electric BI motor drive powered by two engines (3.1 KW each) and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery set up in the scooter’s front, the high-performance scooter offers a maximum speed of 20 km/h (underwater) or 30 km/h (gliding above water) and can be operated up to depths of 18 meters. Thanks to its light weight of just 25 kg (without battery) and a user-friendly control panel, handling is very easy.

3D printing offers real customization. Changes in size or shapes, and customer feedback or requests are able to go straight into the product. Large-format printing also ensures the scooter’s water-resistance: If the front or body were assembled using several smaller parts, openings would be a potential risk for leaks.

Large-format 3D printing enabled the quick turnaround and quality needed for this first of its kind water scooter.

About BigRep
BigRep develops the world’s largest serial production 3D printers, creating the industry benchmark for large-scale printing with the aim to reshape manufacturing. Its award-winning, German-engineered machines are establishing new standards in speed, reliability and efficiency. BigRep’s printers are the preferred choice of engineers, designers and manufacturers at leading companies in the industrial, automotive and aerospace sectors. Through collaborations with its strategic partners – including Bosch Rexroth, Etihad Airways and Deutsche Bahn – and key investors – including BASF, Koehler, Klöckner and Körber – BigRep continues to develop complete solutions for integrated additive manufacturing systems, as well as a wide range of printing materials on an open-choice source. Founded in 2014, BigRep is headquartered in Berlin with offices in Boston and Singapore. Leading the way in one of the world’s key technologies, our multinational engineering teams are highly trained, interdisciplinary and customer-focused.

For additional information, please contact:
To arrange an interview with BigRep’s executive management or NOWLAB team, and for more information on BigRep and its solutions, please contact:
Jürgen Scheunemann
PR & Communications BigRep GmbH
T: +49 30 9487 1430
E: [email protected]

Paravan’s Life-Changing Vehicle Customization with Large-Format AM

For some companies, a shift toward Industry 4.0 means scaling up to mass production of the same goods or near-identical lines of products. For other firms, industrial advancements present potential for greater customization and manufacturing bespoke products.

One such company is Paravan GmbH – a German company developing and supplying independent and autonomous vehicle drive systems. Paravan has been a leading international provider of vehicle customization for people with disabilities or special needs since 2005 as part of a wider mobility concept based around modifying vehicles, lifts, cartridge lifts and ramp systems.

Their solutions are specifically tailored to individual needs, incorporating features like wheelchair access, loading systems, rotating seating, and many more accessibility assets for safety and comfort. Paravan’s passion lies in providing personalized vehicle components that enable one of the most precious things there is: mobile freedom.



Find out more about how BigRep is changing the automotive
industry in our case study with Ford Motor Company

Read Now

 


3D Printing for Accessibility

“With the BigRep ONE, we can quickly and inexpensively print complex components that are either impossible or very difficult to produce by machine,” said Mario Kütt, Head of Mechanical Construction at Paravan. “Now we print a component that we had previously milled, thereby saving around 75% of the costs.”

Paravan uses a BigRep ONE 3D printer to produce end-use parts for its road-approved, safety-related industrial applications, including its first prototype for a revolutionary new steering mechanism. Unlike most cars, this Paravan steering wheel is electronic instead of directly connected to the steering column.

“Together with a 3D scanner our construction engineers work with [the BigRep 3D printer] daily,” said Paravan’s Alexander Nerz. “Of course, it’s great to be able to quickly and efficiently build designs overnight. To be able to install the piece into the customer’s vehicle the very next day. It’s a really great tool.”

Paravan 3D Printing Car Parts for Disability Vehicles with the BigRep ONE

The nature of Paravan’s customized vehicle business means the ability to do rapid large-format prototyping is vital. With just a clean CAD file, Paravan’s engineers can design functional parts specific to a user’s needs and often produce a printed part within one day. Custom-fitting vehicles becomes a cost-efficient, fast process. “We have more pieces that are new than those that we have had for a long time,” says Mr. Kütt, who produces at least two prototypes per week using the BigRep ONE.

For customers who have difficulty grasping the controls with their hands, for example, Paravan has been developing custom grips that enable drivers to keep a steadier hold on the gear stick or steering mechanism. They take a mold of the individual’s hand grip and create a custom grip with flexible, material for simplified handling. Using a 3D scanner, they convert a 3D scan of the final model into a CAD file. After refining the design, they are ready to print the prototype on the BigRep ONE.

The Right Materials for Innovation

As the printed parts are often end-use, placed directly into Paravan’s custom vehicles, post-processing their prints is an important part of Paravan’s process. “Currently we are only using PRO HT filament for production,” said Mr. Kütt. “Mainly for its high temperature resistance, which is necessary for the vehicles, especially in summer.”

Rather than painting the pieces smooth, which Paravan finds can be time consuming, they prefer to lightly sand the printed parts and prime them, creating the finish.


Visit BigRep's Online Shop to find out more about our catalogue
of high-quality and engineering-grade filaments!

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As Paravan continues to innovate in the automotive industry, BigRep’s 3D printing technology will support the company to explore the potential of autonomous driving.

For businesses on the cutting edge of automotive technologies, being able to swiftly design and print prototypes allows them to remain frontrunners in their fields and provide, particularly in Paravan’s case, life-changing products and services to customers.

About BigRep
BigRep develops the world’s largest serial production 3D printers, creating the industry benchmark for large-scale printing with the aim to reshape manufacturing. Its award-winning, German-engineered machines are establishing new standards in speed, reliability and efficiency. BigRep’s printers are the preferred choice of engineers, designers and manufacturers at leading companies in the industrial, automotive and aerospace sectors. Through collaborations with its strategic partners – including Bosch Rexroth, Etihad Airways and Deutsche Bahn – and key investors – including BASF, Koehler, Klöckner and Körber – BigRep continues to develop complete solutions for integrated additive manufacturing systems, as well as a wide range of printing materials on an open-choice source. Founded in 2014, BigRep is headquartered in Berlin with offices in Boston and Singapore. Leading the way in one of the world’s key technologies, our multinational engineering teams are highly trained, interdisciplinary and customer-focused.

For additional information, please contact:
To arrange an interview with BigRep’s executive management or NOWLAB team, and for more information on BigRep and its solutions, please contact:
Jürgen Scheunemann
PR & Communications BigRep GmbH
T: +49 30 9487 1430
E: [email protected]

Personalized Fingerprint Stool, Custom Manufacturing with BigRep

Additive manufacturing has offered ungated access to affordable manufacturing solutions and unprecedented reductions in the cost of low-volume high-mix manufacturing. Because of these combined possibilities, a wealth of personalized products have become available to the market from all sizes of businesses.

The affordability of large-format additive technology has even changed the way professionals are introduced to manufacturing processes, which now often begins during post-secondary education with in-house industrial 3D printers. Universities everywhere are integrating additive into their curriculums in a variety of disciplines that allow students to have hands-on experience with manufacturing technology before entering the workforce.

After Australia’s University of Technology Sydney (UTS) acquired a BigRep ONE large-format 3D printer for their fabrication lab, ProtoSpace, they were eager to flex their new additive muscles and create a publishable case study. The task was taken on by Dr James Novak, at the time a postdoctoral researcher at UTS (now a Research Fellow in additive manufacturing at Deakin University) who set out to create a showcase-worthy design that would test the BigRep ONE’s capabilities and highlight its potential to produce highly customizable products.


Learn how prominent universities are integrating additive in our
guide to Large-Format 3D Printers For Education and Research

Read the Guide


Figure 2

Novak took personalization to the next level in his design, literally incorporating himself into the project by creating a stool from he and his wife’s fingerprints.

“It was designed when my wife and I got engaged and features the ring fingerprint impressions from both of us,” said Novak. He noted the project was conceived in part because of the absolute individuality of a fingerprint, highlighting the unmatched level of personalization that additive manufacturing offers.

The highly-organic design connects the fingerprint ridges, weaving support through empty space before merging in the design’s open mid-section.

Novak explained, “as the fingerprints merge through the center of the design, an organic form emerges that can only be manufactured using 3D printing, and there is no support material needed.”

edf

To simplify the printing process, it was decided to print the design with a support raft that ensured the first layers – which are otherwise unconnected – wouldn’t warp, but Novak noted that the same result could be accomplished with the right build platform adhesive.

The resulting design is an excellent example of the unique capabilities of 3D printing: an entirely personalized end-use product with a complex geometry that can only be produced with large-format additive manufacturing.

Novak’s stool is also demonstrative of large-format additive’s unmatched potential for lean manufacturing, allowing for the creation of highly customizable products in small batch production. Combined with accessible price points and transferable design skills, large-format additive clearly presents an enviable solution at all levels of business.

Novak

Using only a small portion of the BigRep ONE’s build volume, multiple independent designs like Novak’s stool can be easily completed in the same production run, and production speed can be easily increased by taking advantage of large-format’s scalability – adding to existing machines by opting for performance enhancements like a second extruder to run in tandem.

With this unparalleled flexibility and potential for customization, large-format additive presents an accessible, future-ready manufacturing solution.

About BigRep
BigRep develops the world’s largest serial production 3D printers, creating the industry benchmark for large-scale printing with the aim to reshape manufacturing. Its award-winning, German-engineered machines are establishing new standards in speed, reliability and efficiency. BigRep’s printers are the preferred choice of engineers, designers and manufacturers at leading companies in the industrial, automotive and aerospace sectors. Through collaborations with its strategic partners – including Bosch Rexroth, Etihad Airways and Deutsche Bahn – and key investors – including BASF, Koehler, Klöckner and Körber – BigRep continues to develop complete solutions for integrated additive manufacturing systems, as well as a wide range of printing materials on an open-choice source. Founded in 2014, BigRep is headquartered in Berlin with offices in Boston and Singapore. Leading the way in one of the world’s key technologies, our multinational engineering teams are highly trained, interdisciplinary and customer-focused.

For additional information, please contact:
To arrange an interview with BigRep’s executive management or NOWLAB team, and for more information on BigRep and its solutions, please contact:
Jürgen Scheunemann
PR & Communications BigRep GmbH
T: +49 30 9487 1430
E: [email protected]

Ready to Fly: The World’s First Fully 3D-Printed High-Tech Airline Seats to be Premiered by BigRep at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg

Two innovative aerospace seats envisioned with Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform and the industry solution experience “Passenger Experience” / The Retro Seat saves 50 percent of original seat weight, while the cutting-edge bionic Aero Seat offers an all-new passenger experience.

Hamburg / Germany, April 1, 2019 - BigRep, the global leader in large-scale 3D printing (FFF segment) for industrial applications, will unveil the world’s two first fully 3D-printed aerospace seat systems with Dassault Systèmes at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg (April 2-4, 2019). Both prototypes have the potential to re-define aircraft interiors’ design as well as the passenger experience in air travel.

Opening a new dimension for Additive Manufacturing (AM) in the aviation industry, the prototypes, designed by NOWLAB, the BigRep innovation consultancy department, and manufactured on BigRep’s large-scale 3D printers, include the Retro Seat, an original airline seat which has been refurbished by using AM, and the Aero Seat, a bionic passenger seat. Strikingly elegant, both seats present visionary design unprecedented in 21st century aircraft interior composition.

aix-blog-2

Both full-size seat systems were created using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform and the industry solution experience “Passenger Experience”. Engineers use 3D printers to produce optimized parts by leveraging the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to design and simulate highly optimized parts based on space allocation, loads, constraints, manufacturing processes, and multi material requirements.

“Our Retro Seat saves 50 percent of weight, creating huge benefits for sustainable aircraft engineering and operational costs. Our prototypes demonstrate the massive benefits of 3D printing for manufacturers and airlines,” said Daniel Büning, co-founder and Managing Director of NOWLAB at BigRep. “In addition, jigs, fixtures and other cabin interior parts can be printed on site and on demand. In cabin interior design, 3D printing will push the limits of engineering creativity. For designers, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform will be a key tool in this process.”

“3D printing is in the process of re-defining the aviation industry, and we’re ready to fly! Our new 3D printer PRO offers an unprecedented level of precision, quality and speed, enabling us to use the high-performance, innovative printing materials the aviation industry requires.” said BigRep CEO Stephan Beyer, PhD.

BigRep and Dassault Systèmes will show how AM can be applied to any part of the cabin – from seat to armrest to sidewall panel as well as how AM enables design of individual end-use parts starting from lot size one to small series production.



Find out how industry leaders are using BigRep 3D printers to create affordable and secure investment shipping containers on demand for sensitive aerospace equipment in our case study with Airbus:
Read Now


Making full use of the unique technical possibilities of 3D-printing, the Retro Seat offers groundbreaking high-tech features such as inductive charging that permits wireless charging of smartphones. The back of the headrest is equipped with “Bring your own device” outlets to connect to tablets or other devices as well as multiple USB ports. The seat is also embedded with blue LED light panels, creating ambiance during night flights, while the arm rest is equipped with a smart cabinet solution to safely store laptops during takeoff and landing.

The Aero Seat presents a game-changing passenger seat for autonomous driving technology. This exciting seat shell design has an almost bionic touch, look and feel as the seat will adapt to the driver’s or passenger’s individual body shape: Using a 3D body scan prior to the seat production, the shell will provide its users with an unprecedented level of comfort to reduce stress and physical discomfort during long trips. Last but not least, flexible materials are being used for printing seat cushions (incl. softness factor).

Both designs are not a simple adaptation of existing, convectional airline seat frameworks, but were specifically envisioned for large-format FFF technology, setting a benchmark example for truly creative design by breaking the limits of traditional engineering. For example, both seats have a fully integrated design, i.e. any bearings or electronics can be integrated during the printing process.

BigRep will be present at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo at Dassault Systèmes’ booth 6C90E in the Hanse Pavilion.

aix-blog-3

About BigRep:

BigRep develops the world’s largest serial production 3D printers, creating the industry benchmark for large-scale printing with the aim to reshape manufacturing. Its award-winning, German-engineered machines are establishing new standards in speed, reliability and efficiency. BigRep’s printers are the preferred choice of engineers, designers and manufacturers at leading companies in the industrial, automotive and aerospace sectors. Through collaborations with its strategic partners – including Bosch Rexroth, Etihad Airways and Deutsche Bahn – and key investors – including BASF, Koehler, Klöckner and Körber – BigRep continues to develop complete solutions for integrated additive manufacturing systems, as well as a wide range of printing materials on an open-choice source. Founded in 2014, BigRep is headquartered in Berlin with offices in Boston and Singapore. Leading the way in one of the world’s key technologies, our multinational engineering teams are highly trained, interdisciplinary and customer-focused.

For more information on BigRep and its solutions and to arrange an interview with BigRep CEO, Stephan Beyer, PhD, or BigRep CBO, Frank Marangell, and, please contact:

Juergen Scheunemann
PR & Communication
PR & Communications BigRep GmbH
T +49 30 9487 1430
E [email protected]

A deeper look into NERA – the world´s first fully 3D printed E-Bike by NOWLAB

NERA 3d printed e-bike

BigRep unveiled the NERA E-Motorcycle on November 13, 2018 at Formnext and it went viral!

Now let’s take a deeper look at how the world’s first fully 3D-printed electric motorcycle came to be.
Only 12 weeks from sketch to final product at the BigRep headquarters, NERA took its maiden voyage in Berlin.

Changing the Industry - the NERA E-Bike

NOWLAB Co-Founder & Managing Director Daniel Büning started with an idea: create a functional prototype that revolutionizes mobility.

Let´s look at the complexity of the process:

With Marco Mattia Cristofori in the design lead, we engineered NERA e-Bike from the ground up, disrupting traditional design, engineering and production in every aspect. The result is a 100-percent, customizable, functional prototype, designed and produced with more time- and cost- efficiency than previously imaginable.

In building NERA, our designers and engineers didn’t simply adapt existing motorcycle designs; instead they envisioned a bike designed for large-format FFF technology, setting a benchmark for truly creative design and breaking the limits of traditional mindsets.

To hear more about the design process behind the NERA, watch our OnDemand webinar Optimize your Design Process with 3D Printing hosted by Daniel Büning, BigRep's Chief Innovation Officer and one of the NERA's creators:

Watch the webinar

In the following examples, we show how additive manufacturing technologies disrupt existing possibilities:

  • Ideation: First, we worked on the basic bike aesthetics. From the basic mechanical functionality to a unique design language, we started sketching in five design iterations.
    3D printing changes the perception of design language and allows total freedom in terms of design: bionic, organic, edgy – any designs are only one thought from reality.
  • FFF-based Design: We ideate especially for the FFF technology with its unique possibilities: design and functionalities are exclusively FFF-based and don`t work with any other production technology. Prototyping for standard manufacturing methods has extremely limited design possibilities when it comes to mechanical functions, as well as to the design language of objects.
3d printed e-bike
The low polygon/ stealth design of the outter shell avoids top layer.
  • Design process: First, we arrange the functionally relevant core parts, then design the outer shell translating the chosen design language into the functional parts. We decided to pursue a low polygon/ stealth design language, which allowed us to avoid top layers that can be a weakness of FFF printing.
  • Embedded Electronics: Battery, motor, cable and control systems are not printed. The motor is electric since traditional combustion engines cannot be embedded in polymer objects. The electronics can be adjusted individually and are integrated as a modular system that allows individual settings.
3D printed e-bike - The non 3D printed parts
Battery, motor, cable and control systems are not 3D printed.
  • Materials: NERA is printed with BigRep Pro Flex, BigRep ProHT, BigRep PLA, and BigRep PETG materials. While we use ProHT for rigid parts, PLA for color details and PETG for the light reflectors, Pro Flex allows us to embed functionalities in a unique way. Tires, bumper, seat and handles are printed with the flexible material and fulfill functions that usually require complex mechanical constructions such as hydraulic, shock absorbing suspension systems.
    The strength and elasticity of the material allowed us to come up with completely new design approaches that replace the traditional mechanical components. A horizontally embedded Pro Flex suspensor with honeycomb structure, for example, replaces a traditional hydraulic system integrated in metal fork steering systems for motorcycles.
  • Forkless steering: Instead of a fork steering, NERA has eight pivot points, clamping vertically instead of assembling the fork to rotate the wheel on a horizontal axis.
  • Print parameters: Our design team used 12 percent infill almost everywhere. This was determined by testing several small portions and then determining that 12 percent is the perfect fit for structural stability.
3d printed e-bike
NERA eBike parts printed with BigRep's TPU filament.

In total, the design features include 15 fully printed parts:

  • Fully-functional, full-scale 3D printed prototype
  • All parts printed with BigRep printers (except electronics), including body, rims, tires, steering, seat, headlight and shocks
  • Flexible parametric bumper replaces suspension as a shock absorber
  • Custom-fitted seat and chest rest printed with flexible thermoplastic
  • Airless tires with customized tread printed with flexible thermoplastic
  • Front tire has an arch structure for a softer, smoother ride
  • Back tire has a stronger hexagonal structure for load-bearing parts

More than just an exercise in what can be achieved with 3D printing – and specifically FFF printing with BigRep technology – the NERA shows that the low cost and fast results of additive manufacturing allow designers to immediately test prototypes and rapidly produce iterations of experimental engineering. The NERA also illustrates the massive benefits that 3D printing offers to produce functional parts, particularly for unique- to small-series production, by reducing lead times and costs, optimizing supply chains and limiting dependency on supplier networks.

Daniel Büning, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NOWLAB, explains, “Our NERA E-Motorcycle is the perfect example of the disruptive capabilities of additive manufacturing in the mobility sector. The bike is the result of a radical new approach to product development, seamlessly spanning digital simulation to custom manufacturing. Therefore, NERA combines several innovations developed by NOWLAB such as the airless tire, functional integration, and embedded sensor technology. We push the limits of engineering creativity to reshape additive manufacturing technology as we know it.”

Contact NOWLAB

Etihad Airways Engineering to use BigRep 3D Printers in their Maintenance, Overhaul and Repair facility

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3D Printed parts on site and on demand: Etihad Airways Engineering to use Bigrep 3D printers in their Maintenance, Overhaul and Repair facility.

Etihad Airways Engineering to install large-scale 3D printer BigRep ONE to print parts and tooling, followed by a next generation BigRep EDGE industrial 3D printer to develop, test and certify material for aircraft parts.

BigRep, the global leader in large-scale 3D printing, and Etihad Airways Engineering have announced today that the airline MRO will deploy a BigRep ONE 3D printer in its Maintenance, Operations and Repair facility at the Etihad home base in Abu Dhabi. The printer will be used in daily operations to print jigs, fixtures and (non-flying) parts on site and on demand.

Its arrival highlights the first phase in a partnership between BigRep and Etihad Engineering established earlier this year, and will be followed by deploying the next-generation industrial 3D printer BigRep EDGE, with the aim to jointly develop, test and certify new materials for 3D-printed aircraft cabin parts. With the introduction of the new industrial 3D printers PRO and EDGE, unveiled just two weeks ago, BigRep is moving forward to the production of end-use parts for the aerospace industry.


Find out how automotive industry leaders have upscaled
their in-house tooling using BigRep 3D printers in our
case study with Ford Motor Company:
Read Now

 


Bernhard Randerath, Vice President Design, Engineering & Innovation of Etihad Airways Engineering says: “We are at the forefront of bringing this exciting technology into aviation and will work with our partners to ensure a successful certification of 3D printing technology, and with it towards the vision of a 3D-printed cabin.”

Stephan Beyer, CEO of BigRep GmbH, says: “Thanks to our 3D printers, we will accelerate the use of Additive Manufacturing in the aviation industry. With the BigRep PRO and EDGE, we will be able to unfold the full potential of our technology, together with Etihad Airways Engineering. These machines offer an unprecedented level of precision, quality and speed, and enable us to use the high-performance, innovative printing materials the aviation industry requires.”

As an innovation leader, Etihad Airways Engineering will leverage its experience around the aircraft cabin and will provide its design organisation approvals, as well as production organisation approvals and in-house flammability lab to test the 3D printed parts. In particular, BigRep’s large-scale 3D printers are suited to printing large cabin parts with the possibility of a high level of customisation – one of the most challenging requirements in the airline industry.

In addition, the aim is to jointly develop and test new material grades in accordance with EASA and FAA criteria, as there is a need for a wider spectrum of AM-suitable polymer materials that can pass the aerospace certification process.

About Etihad Airways Engineering

Etihad Airways Engineering is the largest commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider in the Middle East. As a subsidiary of the Etihad Aviation Group, the company offers maintenance services around the clock, including design, advanced composite repair, cabin refurbishment and component services, from its state-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Contact
BigRep GmbH
Jürgen Scheunemann, PR & Communications T: +49 30 9487 1430
E: [email protected]

Etihad Aviation Group
Duty Media Officer T: +971 50 818 9596
E: [email protected]

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To the Moon and Back with Bigrep on the set of the First Man Movie

first man movie and the Bigrep ONE

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In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to land on the moon, saying “that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” It was a historic moment, that would forever change our perspective on what is possible with new technology.

The First Man, directed by Damien Chazelle, is showing in movie theaters around the world and we can proudly say that Bigrep took a small part in its production. It’s unlikely that Bigrep will be the next Ryan Gosling or Claire Foy, but who knows, given how quickly artificial intelligence is developing.

“With new slicing software you can take a big scale model, chop it up and print it overnight on 18 3D printers. We literally ran those printers 24 hours a day for six months. This German company called BigRep developed a metre-by-metre print bed and they loaned us two of their machines so we could print an Apollo 11 capsule in one go,” said Nathan Crowley, the Production Designer for the film to the animationmagazine.net.

For Crowley, the four-time Academy Award nominee, it was important to have the real parts during the production process, to get a proper impression of their form on the set. Recording these key scenes using miniatures made it look more realistic, for the whole audience. Crowley believes in combining additive technology with old techniques. The results can be seen on big screens around the world. So what was actually printed? Well, the answer is not so obvious.

Remember the Saturn V rocket from the trailer? We are the only company capable of producing objects this size. The model was 3D printed on two Bigrep ONE printers! In addition to the rocket, the Apollo Command/Service Module and Lunar Excursion Module were also 3D printed. Amazingly, it is impossible to see the difference between the 3D printed objects and the ones created with traditional computer graphic techniques. Crowley and his team know how to blend both techniques, so the viewer cannot spot the difference. (To be honest, if the movie crew didn’t tell us, we would also be in the dark.)

From automobile parts for BMW to Hollywood movie sets, what’s next for additive manufacturing? Without a crystal ball, we can’t say for sure, but what we do know is that’s one small step for the movie industry, one giant leap for Bigrep!

From 3D Scanning to 3D Printing – Finding 3D Solutions in Florida

3d scanning - Neometrix 3D solutions

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When it comes to finding an individual solution for various Floridian industries, NeoMetrix is a go-to name, providing 3D scanning and engineering services. Surrounded by around 19,000 manufacturing companies, they have found a way to stand out in this sunshine state. Being active in a handful of major industries and knowing how important it is to understand the specific needs of their customers, they were bound to be a great fit for the BigRep reseller network.

It has been 15 years since Dan Perreault launched NeoMetrix Technologies, Inc. As the President & CEO of this Orlando-based company, he started out as a reseller of one of the world’s leading producers of 3D scanners and providing engineering services.  His experienced team offers a range of services and supplies from scanning and tooling to prototyping and designing.

DISCOVER OUR INDUSTRIAL USE CASES

Perreault describes the company as a solution-oriented organization. “We don’t want to sell boxes, we want to offer real solutions to companies,” he said. In terms of improving their productivity, the BigRep printer gives them not only larger format prints, but also reduced costs of materials, compared with other filament providers. For NeoMetrix, the BigRep STUDIO has turned out to be the perfect tool for expanding their cooperation with customers. “With BigRep,” Perreault continued, “the overall cost of machine ownership is much lower than competitive systems.   It’s our position that this attribute will allow more customers to take advantage of this technology.”

3d scanning of a statue

Florida is an ideal environment for working in the 3D printing industry, thanks to the broad array of industries operating out of the southern state. Perreault said, “Thinking of Florida you think… theme parks!” Indeed, this magical place opens many windows for large-scale 3D printing. “We definitely have a lot of opportunities in the entertainment industry. There is also a large aerospace presence here too.” In addition to that, NeoMetrix is active in the automotive, manufacturing and education fields, and have a wealth of experience working on projects for art and sculpture-making using 3D scanning and printing technologies.

The importance of having the knowledge and experience in the 3D scanning industry cannot be understated – it has helped make NeoMetrix one of the 3D leaders in Florida. It’s not only their excellent service in a diverse range of fields that makes them unique in the market, but also the customer-focused attitude they have. The depth of understanding their customers’ values and demands has put them in the perfect position to demonstrate the business benefits that come from large-scale 3D printing.

“We want to understand what it is customers want to do, how are they doing it now, and how we can help them do it better – and perhaps the BigRep way.”

DISCOVER OUR 3D PRINTERS

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